Botox saves baby suffering from rare lung condition

October 4, 2005

Montreal - Doctors at Montreal Children's Hospital here have successfully treated an infant in danger of drowning in his own saliva by paralyzing his saliva glands with Botox.

Montreal - Doctors at Montreal Children's Hospital here have successfully treated an infant in danger of drowning in his own saliva by paralyzing his saliva glands with Botox.

The 9-month-old baby was born with Charge syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that has as one of its symptoms the excessive production of saliva. The saliva was gathering in the infant's lungs and causing repeated bouts of life-threatening pneumonia.

Doctors decided to inject Botox into the baby's four major salivary glands, leaving the hundreds of others to produce the saliva required for his digestion and oral health. A hospital spokesperson said the treatment saves the child from life on a respirator and is far more palatable than other options, all of which are surgical.

Doctors say the patient will require a fresh Botox injection every six months, but that it's uncertain whether he will require the treatments for life, as the saliva-secretion problems could clear up over time.

Botox injections have been used to treat excessive saliva production, but this marks the first time the procedure has been done on such a young child.