Treatment of gustatory hyperlacrimation (crocodile tears) with injection of botulinum toxin into the lacrimal gland

Eye (Lond). 2002 Nov;16(6):705-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6700230.


Purpose: To establish the efficacy and safety of botulinum toxin in the treatment of Crocodile Tear Syndrome and record any possible complications.

Methods: Four patients with unilateral aberrant VII cranial nerve regeneration following an episode of facial paralysis consented to be included in this study after a comprehensive explanation of the procedure and possible complications was given. On average, an injection of 20 units of botulinum toxin type A (Dysport) was given to the affected lacrimal gland. The effect was assessed with a Schirmer's test during taste stimulation. Careful recording of the duration of the effect and the presence of any local or systemic complications was made.

Results: All patients reported a partial or complete disappearance of the reflex hyperlacrimation following treatment. Schirmer's tests during taste stimulation documented a significant decrease in tear secretion. The onset of effect of the botulinum toxin was typically 24-48 h after the initial injection and lasted 4-5 months. One patient had a mild increase in his preexisting upper lid ptosis, but no other local or systemic side effects were experienced.

Conclusions: The injection of botulinum toxin type A into the affected lacrimal glands of patients with gusto-lacrimal reflex is a simple, effective and safe treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Facial Nerve / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / etiology
  • Lacrimal Apparatus Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Reflex, Abnormal / physiology
  • Syndrome
  • Taste


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A