Botulinum neurotoxin has revolutionized the treatment of spasticity and is now administered worldwide. There are currently three leading botulinum neurotoxin type A products available in the Western Hemisphere: onabotulinum toxin-A (ONA) Botox®
, abobotulinum toxin-A (ABO), Dysport®
, and incobotulinum toxin A (INCO, Xeomin®
). Although the efficacies are similar, there is an intense debate regarding the comparability of various preparations. Here we will address the clinical issues of potency and conversion ratios, as well as safety issues such as toxin spread and immunogenicity, to provide guidance for BoNT-A use in clinical practice. INCO was shown to be as effective as ONA with a comparable adverse event profile when a clinical conversion ratio of 1:1 was used. The available clinical and preclinical data suggest that a conversion ratio ABO:ONA of 3:1—or even lower—could be appropriate for treating spasticity, cervical dystonia, and blepharospasm or hemifacial spasm. A higher conversion ratio may lead to an overdosing of ABO. While uncommon, distant spread may occur; however, several factors other than the pharmaceutical preparation are thought to affect spread. Finally, whereas the three products have similar efficacy when properly dosed, ABO has a better cost-efficacy profile.
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