Botulinum toxin A as a treatment for excessive drooling in children

Pediatr Neurol. 2002 Jul;27(1):18-22. doi: 10.1016/s0887-8994(02)00381-8.


Drooling is problematic for some neurologically impaired children. Botulinum toxin A injection to salivary glands has effectively reduced drooling in adults but has only recently been used to treat children. This was a preliminary study to determine the efficacy and safety of botulinum toxin in children. Children identified as having severe daily drooling were enrolled. The preinjection assessment included measurement of the amount and frequency of drool. Each parotid gland was injected with 5 U of botulinum toxin A. Follow-up was for a minimum of 16 weeks. Nine children were enrolled, 4-17 years of age. All children had moderate or severe mental retardation. At week 4, all patients had a reduced drooling frequency and eight of nine patients had a reduction in the weight of saliva. Overall, five of nine parents (55%) deemed the treatment successful. This preliminary study demonstrates that botulinum toxin A is a relatively effective treatment for some children with significant drooling without serious side effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / administration & dosage*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Neuromuscular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Parotid Gland
  • Sialorrhea / drug therapy*
  • Sialorrhea / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A