Background: We aimed to review and analyse the effectiveness and safety of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) injections for drooling in children with cerebral palsy. Data sources: We searched the EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library) databases from inception to January 2020. Methods: We included randomized controlled trials and observational studies which (1) involved children with cerebral palsy, (2) used BoNT-A for control of drooling, and (3) provided quantitative evaluations of drooling before and after intervention with BoNT-A. Results: Twenty-one trials met the inclusion criteria. Most studies showed that BoNT-A injections are safe and efficacious as a treatment for drooling in children with cerebral palsy. Four trials had sufficient data to pool the results for the meta-analysis. Both the drooling quotient (p = 0.002) and drooling Ffrequency and severity scale (p = 0.004) supported this conclusion. Conclusion: BoNT-A injections are a safe, reversible, effective treatment for drooling control in children with cerebral palsy that can offer effectiveness for more than 3 months with few side effects. The dosage of BoNT-A should not exceed 4 units/kg. Further studies are required to determine the optimal dosage and target glands.
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