New Daily Persistent Headache and OnabotulinumtoxinA Therapy

Clin Neuropharmacol. 2019 Jan/Feb;42(1):1-3. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000313.


Objective: The aim of the study was to determine whether onabotulinumtoxinA therapy is effective in the treatment of new daily persistent headache (NDPH).

Background: New daily persistent headache is a difficult to treat headache syndrome resistant to both conventional and unconventional headache therapies. New daily persistent headache was excluded in the registration trials for onabotunlinumtoxinA (onabot) in chronic migraine. Apart from case reports supporting its benefit, little is known about its therapeutic value in NDPH.

Design and methods: We performed a single-center, retrospective chart review of patients with a diagnosis of NDPH who received onabot treatment for a 30-month period at the Cleveland Clinic Headache Center. Measures of interest were headache frequency and headache severity. All patients had received the Food and Drug Administration-approved PREEMPT Protocol.

Results: A decrease in headache frequency was noted in 8 (50.0%) of 16 patients at 6 months and 7 (63.6%) of 11 patients at 12 months. Headache severity improved in 5 (50.0%) of 10 patients at 6 months and in 7 (77.8%) of 9 patients at 12 months.

Conclusions: Most therapies are unable to break the unremitting course of NDPH. In our investigation, at 1 year (3-4 cycles of onabot treatment), approximately half of the patients treated showed a reduction in headache frequency and approximately 75% demonstrated some improvement in headache severity. Evidence from this small-scale retrospective study suggests that onabot shows strong promise for the treatment of NDPH, which currently is resistant to most therapies, but a randomized controlled study should be the next step in confirmation of this therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Headache Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A
  • onabotulinum toxin A