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Allergan in Final Push to Have Botox Approved to Treat Depression

We already know that Botox Cosmetic can treat more than just lines and wrinkles—the Food and Drug Administration has approved the neurotoxin for a number of other indications including excessive sweating, overactive bladder, chronic migraines and limb spasticity. Now, following the results of a recent study, Allergan is pushing forward with late-stage clinical trials to prove the drug can help treat depression, a final step before seeking FDA approval.

The 258-patient study measured the benefits of using Botox to decrease the symptoms of depression. In the trial, three groups of adult women suffering from major depression were given doses of either 30 units of Botox, 50 units of the drug, or a placebo. The findings show that the group given the smaller dose (30 units) yielded better results than the group that was given 50 units. Surprisingly, the placebo group outperformed both groups receiving thewrinkle releasing drug.

Although the placebo group reported better than expected results, Allergan isn’t letting that factor into its decision to move forward with plans to continue clinical trails and seek FDA approval. In an interview with Forbes, senior vice president of global development and chief scientific officer for Botox, Mitchell Brin says, “the totality of data on Botox shows there is a signal the drug is having an activity on the disease.” Only time and testing can tell if Botox can work for clinical depression the same way it works for migraine sufferers.

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