International Ophthalmology

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 2233–2238 | Cite as

A review on use of botulinum toxin for intractable lacrimal drainage disorders

  • Swati Singh
  • Mohammad Javed AliEmail author
  • Friedrich Paulsen



To review the published literature on botulinum toxin (BTX) for epiphora secondary to refractory lacrimal drainage disorders.


The authors performed a Pub Med search of all articles published in English on BTX injection into lacrimal gland for epiphora secondary to lacrimal drainage disorders. Relevant cross-references were obtained from the resultant studies. Data reviewed included demographics, indications, dose of BTX, number of injections, transconjunctival or transcutaneous route, outcomes and complications. Animal experiments of BTX into lacrimal gland were included and analyzed separately.


Botulinum toxin injection into lacrimal gland, in animal studies, has shown to reduce the tear volume significantly lasting for approximately a month without any histological changes. The major indications have been refractory canalicular obstructions and functional epiphora. The commonly used dose was 2.5 U. Outcomes in the few studies published are encouraging with transient ptosis being the most common complication.


Botulinum toxin into the lacrimal gland is a minimally invasive alternative in cases of refractory epiphora secondary to lacrimal drainage disorders. In these subsets of patients, the reported concentrations, dosage and outcome measures are variable and need larger studies for standardization.


Botulinum toxin Lacrimal gland Epiphora Refractory Canalicular obstructions 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Financial disclosure

Mohammad Javed Ali received support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his research, and he also receives royalties from Springer for the textbook ‘Principles and Practice of Lacrimal Surgery.’ Friedrich Paulsen was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Grants PA738/1-1–1-5 as well as PA738/2-1. He receives royalties from Elsevier for the anatomy atlas ‘Sobotta’ and a ‘Sobotta’ anatomy textbook.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swati Singh
    • 1
  • Mohammad Javed Ali
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Friedrich Paulsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Govindram Seksaria Institute of DacryologyL.V.Prasad Eye InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Anatomy IIFriedrich-Alexander-UniversityErlangen-NürnbergGermany

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