THURSDAY, Dec. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Botulinum toxin (BoNT) injections are associated with lower incidence of anxiety symptoms and related disorders, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Scientific Reports.

Noting that BoNT injection is associated with reduced incidence rates of depression across various nonpsychiatric indications in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), M. Axel Wollmer, from Semmelweis University in Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues examined the impact of BoNT on anxiety symptoms and related disorders using data from the FAERS.

The researchers found that compared with alternative treatments, BoNT injections were associated with a lower incidence of anxiety symptoms and related disorders. This protective effect of BoNT was found in cosmetic use/facial muscles, migraine/facial and head muscles, spasms and spasticity/upper and lower limbs, torticollis and neck pain/neck muscles, and sialorrhea/parotid and submandibular glands (reporting odds ratios, 0.79 to 0.27).

“Our findings show that BoNT administered for various indications and injection sites may have a protective effect against incident anxiety,” the authors write. “Our findings are encouraging to pursue the anxiolytic potential of BoNT in [randomized controlled trials] with patients suffering from anxiety disorders. Though there are effective pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments for these disorders, there is a need for further therapeutic options and BoNT may be one of them.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Allergan/AbbVie pharmaceuticals.

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