Effectiveness and safety of botulinum toxin type a in treatment of restless legs syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Yu Chi Su, Yao Hong Guo, Chung Lun Liao, Yu Ching Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and safety of botulinum toxin type A in patients with restless legs syndrome. We searched electronic databases, including PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science, up to 12 June 2021, for published articles. We enrolled randomized controlled clinical trials and non-randomized controlled studies involving patients with restless legs syndrome who were treated with botulinum toxin. Quality assessment was performed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for Quasi-Experimental Studies. As for the results, we included four articles comprising 62 participants, two studies were randomized controlled trials. Improvement in International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) rating scale was observed in three studies. Adverse events were temporary and self-limited. Meta-analyses were performed, including the two randomized controlled trials with 27 participants. Compared with placebo, botulinum toxin injection significantly reduced scores of IRLSSG rating scale (SMD, −0.819, 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.377 to −0.262). A total of 11.8% (95% CI, 0.7–72.4%) of patients reported at least one adverse event. In conclusion, botulinum toxin injection may relieve restless legs syndrome related symptoms. However, decisive conclusions cannot be drawn because of the small number of patients included in our meta-analysis. Large-scale, randomized controlled trials are warranted to discover the optimal dose, safety, and long-term effect of intervention with botulinum toxin type A for patients with restless legs syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1538
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management


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