How spasticity is treated
If your doctor has diagnosed your condition as spasticity (stiffness of the elbow, wrist, fingers, thumb, ankle, or toes), there are a few steps you may consider taking next:
- Meet with a specialist. A neurologist, physiatrist, or other specialist may be asked to make a more conclusive diagnosis.
- Bring a caregiver. Any time you have a visit with a healthcare professional, you may want to bring a caregiver so you can discuss the diagnosis and treatment options with your doctor together.
There are several different ways in which Focal Spasticity is commonly treated. If you or someone you care for is considering treatment options, here are a few you and your doctor are likely to explore:
A physical therapist can help stretch your muscles and improve your strength.
therapist can help
improve your ability to
perform daily activities.
To treat increased muscle stiffness in the elbow, wrist, fingers, thumb, ankle, and toes caused by spasticity, one of the prescription treatments your doctor may recommend is BOTOX®.
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BOTOX® is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles to treat increased muscle stiffness in elbow, wrist, finger, thumb, ankle, and toe muscles in people 18 years and older with upper and lower limb spasticity.
It is not known whether BOTOX® is safe or effective to treat increased stiffness in upper limb muscles other than those in the elbow, wrist, fingers, and thumb, or in lower limb muscles other than those in the ankle and toes. BOTOX® has not been shown to help people perform task-specific functions with upper limbs or increase movement in joints that are permanently fixed in position by stiff muscles. BOTOX® is not meant to replace existing physical therapy or other rehabilitation that may have been prescribed.
important safety information
BOTOX® may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Get medical help right away if you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of BOTOX®:
- Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last several months.
- Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing.
BOTOX® may cause loss of strength or general muscle weakness, vision problems, or dizziness within hours to weeks of taking BOTOX®. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities.
Do not take BOTOX® if you: are allergic to any of its ingredients (see Medication Guide for ingredients); had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA); have a skin infection at the planned injection site.
The dose of BOTOX® is not the same as, or comparable to, another botulinum toxin product.
Serious and/or immediate allergic reactions have been reported, including itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Get medical help right away if you experience symptoms; further injection of BOTOX® should be discontinued.
Tell your doctor about all your muscle or nerve conditions such as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, as you may be at increased risk of serious side effects including difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing from typical doses of BOTOX®.
Tell your doctor if you have any breathing-related problems. Your doctor may monitor you for breathing problems during treatment with BOTOX® for spasticity. The risk of developing lung disease in patients with reduced lung function is increased in patients receiving BOTOX®.
Bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections (common colds) have been reported. Bronchitis was reported more frequently in people receiving BOTOX® for upper limb spasticity. Upper respiratory infections were also reported more frequently in people with prior breathing related problems with spasticity.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you: have or have had bleeding problems; have plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; weakness of forehead muscles; trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® can harm your unborn baby); are breastfeeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® passes into breast milk).
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Using BOTOX® with certain medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines until you have told your doctor that you received BOTOX® in the past.
Tell your doctor if you received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (tell your doctor exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic injection; take muscle relaxants; take allergy or cold medicines; take sleep medicine; take aspirin-like products or blood thinners.
Other side effects of BOTOX® include: dry mouth, discomfort or pain at injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of eyelids, and dry eyes.
For more information refer to the Medication Guide or talk with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.