Treatment of occipital neuralgia using onabotulinum toxin A



To determine the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in a sample of patients diagnosed with greater occipital nerve neuralgia.

Material and Methods

Twenty-nine patients (28 females, 1 male) were treated for greater occipital nerve neuralgia with onabotulinum toxin type A; the Visual Analog Pain Scale was used to determine pain severity at treatment and again 12 weeks after application.


Average doses of onabotulinum toxin type A of 18.66±6.44 U per nerve and 35.96±12.89 U per patient were utilized. Average pain severity among the sample was 9.81±0.89 prior to botulinum toxin application and 3.68±2.31 points (p<0.0001) twelve weeks after application. Pain frequency decreased from 29.93±0.37 to 12.17±11.05 days with pain per month (p<0.0001). Six patients reported absence of pain after application (p=0.023). Dose did not correlate with the degree of clinical response observed, and no side effects were reported.


Our findings suggest onabotulinum toxin type A is a safe and effective treatment alternative for patients suffering from refractory greater occipital nerve neuralgia.

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