Pharmacologic treatment of spasticity in children

Ann Tilton, Jilda Vargus-Adams, Mauricio R. Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Many clinicians frequently face the dilemma of whether and how to medically treat spasticity. When pharmacologic intervention is deemed appropriate, treatment decisions must first be based on accurate assessment using valid and reliable clinical instruments, and, importantly, specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic treatment goals should be delineated. For the treatment of localized or segmental spasticity, botulinum toxin (BoNT-A) is recommended as an effective and generally safe treatment. For more generalized spasticity, a number of useful oral agents and intrathecal baclofen are available, each with their positive and negative attributes. Fundamental knowledge of pharmacologic properties and toxicities of these medications is required for safe and appropriate use. To achieve optimum results, spasticity treatment should be part of an integrated therapeutic approach in which patients, caregivers, therapists, physicians, and surgeons have an open and clear communication about the overall rehabilitation process of the patient. This review summarizes the current pharmacologic approaches to spasticity treatment in children, critically evaluating published studies in the context of established evidence-based criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Pediatric Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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