One hundred and twenty-six patients with different forms of focal dystonia (89 with cervical dystonia, 12 with hand cramps and 25 with laryngeal dystonia) were treated with localised injections of botulinum toxin. Mean doses per muscle were 200 mouse units (m.u.) for treating cervical dystonia, 40-120 m.u. for forearm muscles in writers' cramp and 3.7 m.u. for the thyroarytenoid muscle in laryngeal dystonia. Responder rates have been above 80% in all patient groups and beneficial effects could be reproduced over follow-up periods of up to 4 years. The commonest side-effects were dysphagia after treatment of spasmodic torticollis, weakness of neighbouring muscles after injections for hand cramps and breathiness and hypophonia following laryngeal injections. All these were transient and generally well tolerated. It is concluded that botulinum toxin injections are a safe and effective treatment in all three types of focal dystonia.