Botox injections

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Botox is a well-known brand for a product containing botulinum toxin type A. The toxin is produced by a bacterium that causes food poisoning called botulism.

When injected in small, controlled doses, Botox will not poison but will act as a muscle relaxant with effects that could last several months.

There are two medical forms of botulinum toxin: Botox and Botox cosmetic. Botox is used to treat certain medical problems, while cosmetic Botox is used to soften facial wrinkles.


1. Overview
2. Role of Botox
3. How does Botox preparations work for improving wrinkles?
4. How long will last the effect?
5. How safe are the Botox preparations?
6. Preparation before Botox injections
7. Risks

Role of Botox

Botox injections block certain signals from nerves – most signals that cause muscle contraction. This leads to a specific muscle paralysis, which can have therapeutic or cosmetic purpose, if muscles are chronically tight or spastic.

Botox experts recommend it for the following conditions:
- Neck pain and abnormal head position associated with severe muscle spasms of the neck (cervical dystonia)
- Lazy eye (strabismus)
- Spasm of the eyelids (blepharospasm)
- Muscle rigidity of the muscles of the elbow, wrist and finger due to increased muscle strain in the upper arms.
- Excessive sweating in the armpits area (hyperhidrosis) – a situation when Botox reduces the action of sweat glands
- Chronic migraine – headache disorder that lasts more than 14 days per month.

Doctors sometimes use Botox to treat other conditions such as back pain, bladder dysfunction, pelvic floor problems, etc.. To prove the effectiveness of Botox in these conditions or standard therapy need further study.

How does Botox preparations work for improving wrinkles?

Botox injections can be used to weaken or paralyze facial muscles some of which stretch the skin and cause wrinkles and allow the skin to become smooth.

After about 2-7 days of injections, wrinkles and fine lines caused by facial expressions begin to disappear. Because Botox therapy has specific objectives, the ability to form facial expressions should not be affected.

How long will last the effect?

The wrinkles appearance improvement usually lasts for 3-6 months and repeated injections are required to maintain the effect. If therapy is continued, the effects will last even longer.

A small number of people develop antibodies that neutralize Botox after repeated treatments, which decreases the efficiency of therapy.

How safe are the Botox preparations?

Botox injections are relatively safe when administered by a physician specialized in their use. As with other treatments, there are some side effects associated with use of Botox, but most of these are minor and temporary.

Pain, tenderness and bruising may be associated with Botox injections. Nausea and flu-like syndrome were rarely met.

Botox injections should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. It is important to know that all medical procedures involve benefits but also risks, so it is recommended to consult a doctor before use this kind of treatment.

Preparation before Botox injections

Before a patient schedule for Botox injections, he will have a talk with his doctor about factors that may contribute to positive action of Botox on health or aesthetic problems.

This meeting includes:
- Medical history and physical exam – The doctor will ask the patient questions about medical history or conditions present in the past and will perform a physical exam.

- Information about drugs used – The doctor will want to know details about the use of certain medications, because you may need to use certain medicinal substances before Botox procedure. The doctor should be informed if there is a history of stroke, heart attack, angina or transient ischemic attacks. The doctor should be informed if you’ve previously used Botox preparations, if you received treatment with injectable antibiotics, the use of muscle relaxants, the presence of any allergies of drugs or if you used medicines to treat colds or sleep disorders.

- A discussion about patient expectations – It is important for the doctor to know the motivations and expectations of the patient.


Botox injections are relatively safe when performed by an experienced physician. Side effects and complications can occur but in any circumstance. Adverse reactions should be flagged to the doctor (especially if they do not disappear) are:
- Pain and bruising at the injection site
- Redness
- Itching
- Headache
- Nausea
- Temporary muscle weakness
- The increasing of the amount of perspiration.

Although unlikely, there is still the possibility that the effect of botulinum toxin to spread to other parts of the body and cause symptoms similar to botulism. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these side effects or if they persist after using Botox injections:
- Muscle weakness in the whole body
- Blurred vision
- Problems with speech or swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of bladder control

Other serious, but less common side effects that could follow the procedure are:
- Allergic reactions
- Eye pain, bleeding, or bruising around the eyes
- Blistering, skin peeling or severe rash
- Chest pain, shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat
- Flu-like symptoms
- Neck or facial pain
- Convulsions.



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