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Pharmacotherapy of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy

Journal title
Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi
Publication year
Chung, C. Y.; Chen, C. L.; Wong, A. M.

Spasticity is a common disability in children with cerebral palsy. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthotics, rhizotomy, and orthopedic surgery, all play important roles in the management of spasticity. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of available medications for treatment of spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. Common medications include benzodiazepines, dantrolene sodium, baclofen, tizanidine, botulinum toxins, phenol, alcohol and intrathecal baclofen. In general, oral medications and intrathecal baclofen are used for treating generalized spasticity, whilst chemodenervation agents (botulinum toxins, phenol, and alcohol) are used to treat localized spasticity. There is more sufficient evidence for the recommendation of botulinum toxin A as an effective anti-spasticity treatment in children with cerebral palsy. However, more data concerning safety and long-term effects of botulinum toxin A is needed. Further study is needed to determine which kinds of medications can cause substantial improvement in daily activity, participation level, self-competence, or quality of life in children with cerebral palsy.

Research abstracts