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Botox: Side effects, function, uses, procedure, and more

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2019-12-02
Nice to Know

Botox: Side effects, function, uses, procedure, and more

by Dhani Anggara, MD

BOTOX

BOTOX® is the brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large amounts, this toxin can cause a form of muscle paralysis known as botulism, which is usually associated with food poisoning. Even though one of the most serious complications of botulism is paralysis, scientists have discovered a way to use it to human advantage. Small, diluted (weakened) amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles, causing controlled relaxation of the muscles.

 

How it works?

Botox blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract (tighten) as forcefully, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.

Botox can be used on the forehead lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, bunny lines (lines in the nose), chin (for dimpling), skin bands on the neck, and around the mouth (for smoker’s lines and down-turned corners of the mouth). Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity often will not respond to Botox. It is important to re-emphasize that Botox is NOT a facial filler (that is, it does not fill existing wrinkles) – it merely relaxes the muscles that are creating those wrinkles.

 

Botulinum toxin is currently approved for the following therapeutic applications:

  • Blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids).
  • Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms).
  • Chronic migraine.
  • Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes).
  • Post-stroke upper limb spasticity.
  • Detrusor (bladder wall muscle) over activity - causing urinary incontinence.
  • Overactive bladder.
  • Hemifacial spasm.
  • Glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows).
  • Canthal lines (crow's feet).

 

Botulinum toxin is also used off-label (not approved) for:

  • Achalasia (an issue with the throat that makes swallowing difficult).
  • Anal fissure and anismus (dysfunction of the anal sphincter).
  • Sialorrhea (producing too much saliva).
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
  • Sphincter of oddi (hepatopancreatic) dysfunction (causes abdominal pain).
  • Cerebral Palsy.
  • Oromandibular dystonia (forceful contraction of the jaw, face, and/or tongue).
  • Laryngeal dystonia (forceful contraction of the vocal cords).

 

Botulinum toxin is sold commercially under the names:

  • Botox, Vistabel, Botox cosmetic (Onabotulinumtoxin A or botulinum toxin type A)
  • Dysport (Abobotulinumtoxin A or botulinum toxin type A)
  • Bocouture, Xeomin (Incobotulinumtoxin A or botulinum toxin type A)
  • Myobloc (Rimabotulinumtoxin B or botulinum toxin type B).

 

Source:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-botox
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/botox-poison
  3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments

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