Pooled analysis of the safety and tolerability of onabotulinumtoxinA in the treatment of chronic migraine

H. C. Diener, D. W. Dodick, C. C. Turkel, G. Demos, R. E. Degryse, N. L. Earl, M. F. Brin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: OnabotulinumtoxinA was effective and well tolerated for prophylaxis of headache in patients with chronic migraine (CM) in two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials. To further assess the safety and tolerability of onabotulinumtoxinA in CM prophylaxis in adults, the pooled safety data from four double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were analyzed. Methods: The pooled analysis included two phase 2 and two phase 3 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. The safety population was 2436 patients, 1997 of whom received ≥1 dose of onabotulinumtoxinA. The studies shared similar dosing intervals (approximately 12 weeks) with doses between 75 and 260 U. Safety assessments included adverse events (AEs), physical examination and clinical laboratory tests. Results: OnabotulinumtoxinA was safe and well tolerated, with a low discontinuation rate (3.4%) due to AEs. The majority of patients in this pooled analysis received doses between 150 and 200 U, with an average of 163 U per treatment cycle. Of the 1997 patients who received any onabotulinumtoxinA injections, 1455 patients (72.9%) reported at least one AE. Neck pain (12.6%) was the most common onabotulinumtoxinA-associated AE, followed by muscle weakness (8.0%), musculoskeletal stiffness (6.1%) and eyelid ptosis (4.6%). Serious AEs were infrequent, occurring in 5.4% of patients who received any onabotulinumtoxinA treatment and 3.0% of patients receiving placebo. AEs were consistent with the known tolerability profile of onabotulinumtoxinA. Conclusions: Multiple treatments with onabotulinumtoxinA at doses of 75-260 U administered every 12 weeks, and up to five treatment cycles, were well tolerated for the prophylaxis of headache in adults with CM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-859
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Chronic migraine
  • OnabotulinumtoxinA
  • Safety
  • Tolerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pooled analysis of the safety and tolerability of onabotulinumtoxinA in the treatment of chronic migraine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this