Botulinum Toxin A in the Management of Pediatric Sialorrhea: A Systematic Review

Tiffany Heikel, Shivam Patel, Kasra Ziai, Sejal J. Shah, Jessyka G. Lighthall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Botulinum toxin A is known to be effective and safe in managing sialorrhea in pediatric patients; however, there is no consensus on a protocol for optimal injection sites and appropriate dosing for injection. Methods: This review was performed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocol. PubMed, EMBASE, and other databases were queried to identify articles that evaluated botulinum toxin type A for the treatment of sialorrhea in the pediatric population. A total of 405 studies were identified. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 31 articles were included for review. Results: A total of 14 studies evaluated 2-gland injections, and 17 studies evaluated 4-gland injections. Of the 31 studies included, one study assessed incobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin®) the remaining all used onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®). For 2-gland injection studies, a combined total of 899 participants were reviewed, where 602 participants received 50 units into their submandibular glands, while 262 participants received 30 to 50 units. Among 4-gland injection studies, there was a combined total of 388 participants, with the most prevalent dosage utilized being 60 to 100 units in 230 participants, followed by 100 units total in 77 participants. The most common adverse event was dysphagia which resolved in nearly all cases. Three studies aimed to examine 2-gland versus 4-gland injections, with 2 of the studies concluding 4-gland injection was superior. Conclusions: The strength of evidence suggests that the dosing of 50 units total of onabotulinumtoxinA to the submandibular glands is safe and effective in the pediatric population. For 4-gland injections, bilateral submandibular and parotid gland injections of 60 to 100 units total is the safe and effective dosage. There is no substantial evidence comparing 4-gland injections to 2-gland injections, but research thus far suggests 4-gland injections to be superior. Future study is needed to evaluate incobotulinumtoxinA and abobotulinumtoxinA dosages in the pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-206
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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