Mechanisms of botulinum toxin type A action on pain

Ivica Matak, Kata Bölcskei, Lidija Bach-Rojecky, Zsuzsanna Helyes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Citations (Scopus)


Already a well-established treatment for different autonomic and movement disorders, the use of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A) in pain conditions is now continuously expanding. Currently, the only approved use of BoNT/A in relation to pain is the treatment of chronic migraines. However, controlled clinical studies show promising results in neuropathic and other chronic pain disorders. In comparison with other conventional and non-conventional analgesic drugs, the greatest advantages of BoNT/A use are its sustained effect after a single application and its safety. Its efficacy in certain therapy-resistant pain conditions is of special importance. Novel results in recent years has led to a better understanding of its actions, although further experimental and clinical research is warranted. Here, we summarize the effects contributing to these advantageous properties of BoNT/A in pain therapy, specific actions along the nociceptive pathway, consequences of its central activities, the molecular mechanisms of actions in neurons, and general pharmacokinetic parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number459
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Botulinum toxin type A
  • Mechanism of action
  • Migraine
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pain therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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