New booklet about Botulinum toxin and spasticity

'Helping you to understand spasticity and the role of botulinum toxin' is a new booklet available from Ipsen Limited, the UK subsidiary of the Ipsen Group, for people with spasticity who have been prescribed botulinum toxin.

Spasticity is a term used to describe the symptoms of involuntary muscle overactivity and stiffness that results from a neurological disorder or condition affecting the spinal cord.  Possibly as many as 75% of people with severe traumatic brain injury and 20% of people who have had a stroke will experience spasticity that requires treatment1. 

Managing spasticity is difficult and complex and involves a large team of health professionals from different areas of medicine and a variety of treatments can be used depending on the severity of the spasticity.  Botulinum toxin type A (Dysport®) is indicated for focal spasticity including the treatment of arm symptoms associated with focal spasticity in conjunction with physiotherapy, but only in hospital specialist centres with appropriately trained personnel.

The booklet has been produced to help the patient learn more about their condition and also to understand how botulinum toxin can help their spasticity.   It addresses  what spasticity is and how it is treated, the use of botulinum toxin and provides a list of some of the organisations that can provide further help and support such as Different Strokes, HemiHelp, Scope and the Stroke Association.  

Copies of the booklet can be obtained from:

Medical Information Department, Ipsen Ltd, 190 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 3XE

T: 01753 627777

1. The Management of Adults with spasticity using Botulinum Toxin: A Guide to Clinical Practice.  April 2001
Notes to editor
Botulinum toxin type A
Dysport® has been used for over 15 years to treat a range of dystonias including blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm and torticollis.  It is also indicated for dynamic equinus foot deformity due to spasticity in ambulant paediatric cerebral palsy patients, two years of age or older, only in hospital specialist centres with appropriately trained personnel.

It is produced naturally by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Strains of the bacterium have been found to produce seven neurotoxins labelled type A through to type G. This bacteria is associated with causing botulism, a rare form of food poisoning, but, when purified and used in tiny, controlled doses, is used to relax excessive muscle contraction. 

Botulinum toxin has its effect on nerves at their junctions with muscles.  There is a chemical 'messenger' called acetylcholine that is released from the nerve endings to make the muscle contract; botulinum toxin stops this release happening.   The effect of botulinum toxin is to help reduce some of the abnormal muscle contraction and so the muscles become less stiff.

Suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) should be reported at:

ADRs should also be reported to the Ipsen UK Medical Information department on

Prescribers should consult the Summary of Product Characteristics in relation to other side effects.

For further information, please refer to

Ipsen is a European pharmaceutical group with over 20 products on the market and a total worldwide staff of nearly 4,000. The Company's development strategy is based on a combination of products in targeted therapeutic areas (oncology, endocrinology and neuromuscular disorders), which are growth drivers, and primary care products, which contribute significantly to its research financing. This strategy is also supported by an active policy of partnerships. The location of its four R&D centres (Paris, Boston, Barcelona, London) gives the Group a competitive edge in gaining access to leading university research teams and highly qualified personnel. In 2005, Research and Development (R&D) expenditure reached €169.0 million, i.e. 20.9% of consolidated sales, which amounted to €807.1 million in the Group's pro forma accounts set up according to the IFRS.  Nearly 700 people in R&D are dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative drugs for patient care. Ipsen shares are traded on Segment A of Eurolist by Euronext™ (stock code: IPN, ISIN code: FR0010259150). 

For further information please contact:

Louise Blakeborough, Chapter Five
T: 01306 731800

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