The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new treatment for lower limb spasticity: Botox. The approval opens additional opportunities for using the treatment for stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease, which are among the most common causes of spastic, involuntary movement.
"Spasticity is a debilitating condition that can have a significant impact on patients' lives, compromising their ability to perform a range of daily activities," said Mitchell F. Brin, M.D., Senior Vice President Global Development and Scientific Officer, BOTOX, in a company release. "This FDA approval marks our continued commitment to partnering with scientists and researchers around the world to explore the potential benefits of BOTOX in treating specific medical conditions."
The treatment, which involves injections of a specific prescription form of Botulinum toxin (onabotulinumtoxinA), had previously been approved for use in upper limb spasticity, including finger, wrist and elbow muscles. But the new approval for low extremities—including foot, ankle and toe muscles, could be a promising treatment to improve balance, gait and mobility.
Physicians should be cautious about prescribing the treatment for those who have conditions that impact breathing and swallowing movements, such as ALS, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barre syndrome, noted Allergan, the company that manufactures Botox.