Treatment of depression with botulinum toxin A: a case series

Dermatol Surg. 2006 May;32(5):645-9; discussion 649-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2006.32136.x.


Background: Major depression is a common and serious disease that may be resistant to routine pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment approaches.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of botulinum toxin A treatment of glabellar frown lines in treating patients with major depression, using a small open pilot trial.

Methods: Patients who met DSM-IV criteria for ongoing major depression in spite of pharmacologic or psychotherapeutic treatment were evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) before receiving botulinum toxin A to their glabellar frown lines. Two months later, all patients were re-evaluated clinically and with the BDI-II.

Results: Ten depressed patients were treated with botulinum toxin A, and 9 of 10 patients were no longer depressed 2 months after treatment. The tenth patient had an improvement in mood.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of depression treated with botulinum toxin A.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Facial Muscles / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A