Allergan uncovers potential for using Botox to treat depression

The women were assigned to three different groups, each of which received a 30 U Botox injection, a 50 U Botox injection, or a placebo.
The women were assigned to three different groups, each of which received a 30 U Botox injection, a 50 U Botox injection, or a placebo. | File photo

Popularly known for its ability to enhance facial appearance cosmetically, Botox is now being reviewed for its possible application in treating major depressive disorder, based on data from a study undertaken by Allergan.
Botox is the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA, a drug prepared from the bacterial toxin botulin, used medically to treat muscle spasms and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles.
The research was designed as a proof of concept Phase II study. Allergan structured the investigation in order to compare results among females with moderate to severe major depressive disorder, using results obtained from 258 patients over the course of 26 weeks for treatment followed by up to 24 weeks after treatment.
The women were assigned to three different groups, each of which received a 30 U Botox injection, a 50 U Botox injection, or a placebo; scientists reported a significant positive measurable result in the two dosage groups compared to the placebo group.
"We are encouraged by these data and the potential impact on adults with major depressive disorder," David Nicholson, who serves as chief research and development officer for Allergan, said. “Given our in-depth and extensive clinical trial experience in CNS including depression, we plan to move forward and develop a phase 3 program for a potential new treatment option for patients.”

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Allergan, Inc. 400 Interpace Pkwy Parsippany, NJ 07054-1116