Chronic sialorrhea is a condition often associated with cerebral palsy (CP) and is attributed to poor facial and oral muscle control. As a result sialorrhea, people with CP experience an overflow of saliva production and often drool. If left untreated, sialorrhea can result in:
- Skin irritation around the mouth
- Issues with oral hygiene
- Difficulties with speech
- Sleep disturbances
- More seriously, choking hazards and aspiration pneumonia
Treatment with Myobloc provides hope
A new treatment method for this condition was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to Cerebral Palsy News Today. It involves Myobloc (rimabutulinumtoxinB) injections, which are commonly used to treat cervical dystonia — a condition that involves uncontrollable neck spasms that cause pain and abnormal head positioning. It can, however, be used for other purposes and is the first of its kind to be approved for sialorrhea treatment.
This method works by injecting Myobloc directly into two major saliva-producing glands: the parotid and submandibular. It blocks the nerve signals to those glands and the muscles involved, specifically the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Only one dose of Myobloc is potent enough to reduce drooling for up to three months, and it takes effect no later than one week after injection.
Controlled study yields proven results
The FDA approval comes on the heels of a successful multi-center study on the effects of Myobloc on sialorrhea in patients with Parkinson's Disease. During the study, researchers observed the impact Myobloc had on sialorrhea from baseline — comparing placebo-controlled participants with those who received the injection.
Myobloc was found to be highly effective and generally safe. Some side effects documented were dry mouth and dental cavities. More seriously, it can cause issues with breathing, swallowing, and speaking, if the muscles involved in those functions are affected, according to the FDA.
The attorneys at Goldberg & Schulkin Law Offices applaud this milestone, as well as many other developments in CP treatment. We hope to see the treatment of sialorrhea improve the lives of those who suffer from CP.
With law offices in Chicago and Milwaukee, we proudly represent the families of patients with CP. Lifelong treatment of CP can be costly and emotionally overwhelming for many families. We know this condition is often preventable and we're dedicated to holding responsible parties accountable for their negligence and errors.
If your child has developed cerebral palsy from a birth injury or other related complications due to poor treatment, contact our law office to find out how we can help you.