BOTOX™ is a protein produced by bacteria called “clostridium botulinum.” It has been purified under very strict controlled conditions. BOTOX™ and BOTOX Cosmetic™ are trademarks owned by Allergan Inc.
What benefits can be expected from BOTOX Cosmetic™?
BOTOX™ has been injected for more than a decade in children and adults to improve muscle spasm. It has corrected double vision due to muscle imbalance. Injections of minute amounts decrease the strength of the underlying muscle(s). When the underlying muscle(s) are weakened, the overlying wrinkles in the skin are minimized or smoothed out. Frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead expression lines can become less deep. It usually takes 2-3 days for the effects to be noticed and up to 10 days for maximal effects. Approximately 90% of patients have a very good effect from BOTOX Cosmetic™ injections, but some patients may be less responsive. If the creases are very deep, a filler (e.g. hyaluronic acid) may be required. There is an additional fee for BOTOX™ touch-ups and filler substances. BOTOX™ has also been used to correct excessive sweating.
How long do the effects last?
In most cases, the frown muscles are blocked for 2 months after which time the muscle movement gradually returns. The lines usually stay diminished for 3-6 months or longer, but results have been variable.
BOTOX™ has also been used to correct excessive sweating. Many private insurance plans cover the cost of the BOTOX™ for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) treatment. The axillae (armpits) are the most commonly treated areas. After starch iodine testing to identify the areas of excessive sweating, the areas are injected with BOTOX™. The average duration of improvement is 7 months, but in 1/3 of individuals, the effects last approximately 1 year.
In order to maintain a benefit over a long period of time, injections 2-3 times a year are common. The treatment can be repeated for as long as it is required.
What are the possible side effects of Cosmetic Botox?
Cosmetic Botox is generally well tolerated. Stinging is felt when the BOTOX Cosmetic™ solution is injected. Slight swelling and/or bruising may occur. Headaches due to muscle contraction are often improved with BOTOX Cosmetic™, however some patients may experience a temporary headache after the injections. Rarely, an adjacent muscle may be weakened for a couple to several weeks after BOTOX Cosmetic™ injections. This may result in a 1-2 mm upper eyelid droop after injection between and above the eyes. The chance of this occurring is in the range of 1-2%. Eye drops are available to alleviate this complication.
What should I do after the injections?
You should exercise the injected muscle(s) for 1 hour. Stay upright for 4 hours and DO NOT touch the treated areas until the next day.
Does BOTOX™ interact with other drugs?
Aminoglycoside antibiotics may increase the effect of BOTOX™. You must inform Dr. Guenther before you receive BOTOX Cosmetic™/BOTOX™ if you are taking any antibiotics.
Who should not receive BOTOX Cosmetic™?
BOTOX Cosmetic™/BOTOX™ should not be given to pregnant women, nursing mothers or people with myasthenia gravis or muscle diseases. You must notify Dr. Guenther if you are pregnant, nursing or have any muscle diseases.