Whitehouse Station, N.J. — A new study finds no evidence to support the claim that botulinum toxin (BoNT) injections reduce chronic neck pain or associated headaches, ScienceDaily reports.
A research team from Merck, based here, reviewed nine trials involving a total of 503 participants. Some of the trials specifically compared the effects of administering either the toxin or a saline placebo to two groups of participants suffering from neck pain.
Investigators found no difference between the two groups at either four-week or six-month follow-ups. They also found that adding BoNT to physiotherapy was no more effective than adding an anesthetic or saline.
ScienceDaily quotes Merck director of clinical research and study spokesman Paul Michael Peloso, M.D., as saying, “It’s always important to look carefully at evidence from clinical trials to see whether a treatment is more effective than a placebo, and this is particularly important when treatments have known adverse effects. … Based on current evidence, we have no reason for supporting the use of BoNT as a stand-alone therapy for neck pain, but we do suggest that researchers consider further study to clarify whether the dose can be optimized for neck pain.”