Injecting botulinum toxin (botox) to treat intrinsic or allergic rhinitis may be a thing of the past as researchers have now shown that sponges soaked in botox are equally effective in treating the condition. The research, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Head & Face Medicine, offers a potential needle-free treatment to the millions of people who suffer from rhinitis.
Rainer Laskawi (ENT-Department) worked with a team of researchers from the University Medical Center Gφttingen, Germany, to test the effectiveness of the botox sponge. He said, "Intrinsic rhinitis affects a lot of patients and can be quite disabling for the patient. Botox injections can help, and we wanted to explore a less invasive alternative".
The researchers inserted sponges into the patients' nostrils for 30 minutes, which were soaked with botox directly after the insertion. The patients then kept a 'nose diary' for the next twelve weeks, detailing sneezes per day, tissues used and a 'congestion score'. A group of patients who received the treatment scored better on all aspects. According to Laskawi, "We've shown that the minimally invasive application method of BTA with a sponge is a safe, painless method which can lead to a long lasting reduction of nasal hypersecretion".
It may be hypothized that there exits a certain form of a "botulinum toxin-sensitive" intrinsic rhinitis.
- Saskia Rohrbach, Katharina Junghans, Sibylle Kφhler and Rainer Laskawi. Minimally invasive application of botulinum toxin A in patients with idiopathic rhinitis. Head & Face Medicine, 2009; (in press) [link]
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