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Botox: when, what, why, and how

What is Botox?

Botox® is a trade name for botulinum toxin A.

Is Botox related to Botulism?

Yes. Botox is one of the neurotoxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinum bacterium can cause botulism (food posioning).

How does Botox Work?

Botox Cosmetic works by blocking the transmission of acetylcholine from the nerves to the muscle. When acetylcholine is blocked, the muscle is paralyzed and cannot contract.

Why is Botox Prescribed?

Botox is prescribed treat conditions that involve involuntary spasms. It is often prescribed to treat blepharospasm, strabismus, and cervical dystonia.

Botox Cosmetic has been prescribed to treat severe frown lines. It is approved for use in adult patients up to 65 years of age. When Botox Cosmetic is injected into the muscles surrounding the brow area, the muscles in the frown area are paralyzed for a period of time. When the muscles around the frown area are paralyzed, the frown lines temporarily go away.

Botox procedure

The Botox procedure is very simple and takes a few minutes. No anesthesia is used, nor is any required. During the procedure, Botox will be injected into specific muscles using a narrow gauge needle.

Complications of Botox

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued statements warning of the possible hazards of "Botox parties." Whether used to treat medical conditions such as blepharospasm or strabismus or cosmetic concerns such as furrow lines, a Botox injection is a medical procedure that should be performed in a controlled medical environment. According to the FDA, administering this treatment during a cocktail party greatly diminishes the gravity of this medical procedure. There is always a risk of adverse reactions or side effects after a Botox injection, so patients need to be in a medical setting that is equipped to handle an emergency situation. And, the ingestion of alcohol at or around the time of injection could worsen any bruising at the injection site.

Some common complications of botox are:

  • temporary bruising
  • headaches (usually go away within 24 to 48 hours)
  • eyelid drooping

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