Botox Side Effects
Botox Side Effects - Introduction
Botox is the trade name for botulinum toxin A, a nuerotoxin. A nuerotoxin is a poisonous substance which causes damage to the nerve cells. Another example of a nuerotoxin is lead.
Botox is used clinically in small substances to treat strabismus (a misalignment of the eyes) and facial spasms and other neurological disorders characterized by abnormal muscle contractions. Botox is also used by cosmetic surgeons to smooth frown lines temporarily.
More simply put, Botox is a form of botulism which is injected into the facial muscles by cosmetic surgeons to paralyze or weaken the muscles that form wrinkles. Typically the effects of botox last three to six months and must be repeated to maintain results.
Botox Side Effects
Botox injections is a quick and relatively painless way to remove crows feet, frown lines, and brow lines. This cosmetic procedure is relatively popular, millions of Botox treatments have been administered in recent years, and is often used to enhance the results of other plastic surgery procedures such as a face lift, brow lift, or eyelid lift.
The procedure has been proved to be safe, although there are some risks that you ought to be aware of prior to undergoing treatment.
Possible injection side effects include:
- mild numbness, tingling, or pain in the injection area
- minor swelling, redness, or bruising aground the injection area
- an allergic reaction to the Botox
- no improvement after undergoing the Botox treatment
- temporary headache
- temporary nausea
- drooping eyelid or eyebrow, this can last for two to three weeks as it is usually temporary
- limited range of motion in muscle groups surrounding the injection site
- flu-like symptoms
- respiratory infection
Many of these side effects can be avoided if the patient avoids rubbing the injection area for about 12 hours after treatment. Also, the skill of the surgeon is important. You want to choose a qualified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing Botox injections.
Botox can react adversely to certain herbal remedies such as St John's Wort, vitamin E, and multivitamins, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, and heart and Alzheimer's drugs. The prospective Botox candidate will want to provide the doctor with a full list of over the counter and prescription drugs that they are currently taking or have taken recently. The doctor should ask for a complete medical history before performing the Botox injection procedure.
Some people cannot take the Botox injection. For instance, people with cardiovascular or neuromuscular disease should not undergo Botox treatment. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid Botox treatments because the effects of the Botox on the fetus and nursing baby have not yet been determined. People with pre-existing infections at the injection site should not take the Botox injection. Bottom line, doctors should always be made aware of any pre-existing conditions prior to performing the Botox injection procedure.
Botox is not a treatment for all the wrinkles and sagginess that occurs around the eyes on the face due to age. Sometimes Botox treatments will not do a thing to improve the wear and tear of age on our faces. Only a doctor who has lots of experience with Botox injections can assess whether a Botox treatment will actually produce the desired results.
Botox In The News - February 8, 2008
In a news article from CNN on February 8, 2008, more deaths and severe side effects have been reported as being linked to Botox and Myobloc injections in the United States by the FDA. Botulism toxin may spread through the body, resulting in respiratory paralysis. All the reported deaths were children, mostly those with cerebral palsy treated for limb spasms. As a result the FDA has taken the stance that all doctors should warn all patients who get botulinum toxin injections.Botox is best known for minimizing wrinkles by paralyzing the facial muscles, but botulism toxin is used for a variety of conditions such as cervical dystonia, a neck condition where the patient suffers severe muscle spasms.The FDA said the deaths that it is investigating so far all involve children, mostly cerebral palsy patients being treated for spasticity in their legs. This use of the drug has never formally been approved by the FDA, but other some countries have approved the use of botulinum toxin for treatment of this condition.The FDA is also probing reports of illnesses in people of all ages who used the drugs for a variety of conditions, including the hospitalization of one woman who was given Botox for forehead wrinkles.The FDA won't say exactly how many cases it is probing, but they do say it is not hundreds of cases, it is a relative handful of cases.The FDA has warned that patients a receiving botulinum toxin injection for any reason - cosmetic or medical - should be told to seek immediate care if they suffer symptoms of botulism, including: difficulty swallowing or breathing, slurred speech, muscle weakness, or difficulty holding up their head.The FDA has not concluded that botulinum toxin poses any new risk. The investigations are still in their early stages. The FDA said the problems may be related to overdoses, it also has reports of side effects with a variety of doses.The Public Citizens group criticized the FDA's warning as falling short. They would like to see the FDA order a black-box warning, the FDA's strongest type, be put on the drug's labels and require that every patient receive a pamphlet outlining the risk before each injection.
Botox In The News - January 24 2008
Botox and it's side effects has been in the news as recently as January 24, 2008. A consumer group wants stronger warnings on Botox, and a similar one, Myobloc. Both are used to control painful neck spasms. Through the use of these drugs dozens of U.S. patients have suffered serious side effects and at least 16 have died.
The non-profit group Public Citizen asked the Federal Drug and Food Administration to send letters to doctors across the country warning them that muscle relaxing botulinum toxin, sold under the trade names Botox and Myobloc, can spread from the injection site to other parts of the body. When this happens, a patient's esophagus can become paralyzed and food or drink can be inhaled into the lungs resulting in pneumonia and death.
The consumer wants patients notified too about the problems and deaths, in literature that doctors would have to give them before injecting the drug.
The early signs of complications are dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. If you have had an injection of Botox and you have these symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.
Minor rare side effects include temporary drooping eyelids or eyebrows, for example. Most problems with Botox occur where it has been injected.
More than 4 million Botox procedures were performed in 2006, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
In it's petition, Public Citizen said it reviewed FDA data supplied by the two manufacturers and found 658 cases of people suffering adverse effects between Nov 1, 1997 and Dec 31, 2006. Of those, Public Citizen says, 180 developed serious complications, 87 required hospitalization and 16 died.
That is still a small percentage of those who use the drug.
The FDA approved the use of Botox for two eye muscle disorders in t 1989. In 2002 it was approved to temporarily improve the appearance of frown lines between the eyebrows. The FDA also OK'd the drug for a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder contractions and for severe underarm sweating.
The FDA approved Myobloc in 2000 as the first drug to reduce the severity of neck and shoulder muscle contractions and the abnormal head position and neck pain associated with cervical dystonia.
However, some doctors used the drugs off-label - to treat conditions for which they have not been approved - such as wrinkles on the lower face and neck. Those treatments are more likely to cause complications according to the Public Citizen's group, because the toxin is injected closer to the esophagus.
Botox - Some History
Botox (botulinum toxin A) was introduced over 30 years ago and was first administered by injection to the muscles surrounding the eye to patients suffering from crossed eyes. A derivative of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces a protein which interferes with muscle spasms by blocking nerve impulses and temporarily relaxing the muscle.Successful trials early on resulted in Botox gaining FDA approval for treatment and/or relief of neck pain caused by cervical dystonia, involuntary facial muscle spasms, eye misalignment (strabismus), upper limb spasticity, juvenile cerebral palsy, and hyperhidrosis. Botox is currently being assessed for treating a variety of other conditions including migraine headaches, excessive sweating and back pain.On April 15, 1992 Allergan, won FDA approval of Botox Cosmetic for treatment of glabellar lines (area located between the eyebrows, including the corrugator and procerus muscles). Since its approval in 1992, Botox injections have become the most sought-after treatment in clinics nationwide. Wrinkles that are caused by muscle contraction, such as frown lines, crow's feet, forehead creases, and neck bands can be safely and successfully treated with Botox.It must be noted that Botox does not cure a condition when treated with the drug, it only relieves the patient of the symptoms temporarily because after 3 to 6 months the Botox injection must be performed again to continue its benefits to the patient.