Botulinum toxin in restless legs syndrome—a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study

Shivam Om Mittal, Duarte Machado, Diana Richardson, Divyanshu Dubey, Bahman Jabbari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common movement disorder with an estimated prevalence of up to 12%. Previous small studies with onabotulinumtoxin A (OnaA) for RLS have shown inconsistent results. Methods: Twenty-four patients with an International RLS score (IRLS) of >11 (moderate-severe) were enrolled in this blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study. Twenty-one patients completed the evaluations at 4, 6, and 8 weeks after each injection. One-hundred units of Incobotulinumtoxin A (IncoA) or normal saline were injected into tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and biceps femoris muscles each side. Results: Improvement from a severe (IRLS >21) to a mild/moderate (IRLS ≤20) score was significant at four weeks (p = 0.0036) and six weeks (p = 0.0325) following IncoA administration compared to placebo. Additionally, there was significant improvement in pain score at six weeks as measured by Visual Analogue Scale (p = 0.04) and the Johns Hopkins Quality of Life Questionnaire (p = 0.01) in the IncoA group. Definite or marked improvement on Patient Global Impression of Change was seen in 7 out of 21 patients in the IncoA group vs. 1 out of 21 patients in the placebo group at 4 weeks (p = 0.012). Conclusion: IncoA injection lead to a reduction in severity of RLS symptoms, pain score, and quality of life, without any adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number401
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Botulinum toxin
  • Clinical trial
  • Incobotulinumtoxin A
  • Movement disorder
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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