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Botulinum toxin (Botox)

Botulinum toxin (BoTN) is a protein that is produced naturally by a bacterium known as clostridium botulinum. This is the causative bacteria in the food poisoning syndrome known as botulism from eating poorly preserved food. In this setting, the illness can cause severe and dangerous weakness. However, medical research has found a way to purify this protein and, when used in small doses, is a very safe and effective treatment for many medical conditions.

Botulinum toxin goes by several trade names, including Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Myobloc. When injected into muscles, it can cause partial, temporary and local weakness of muscle by blocking the chemical signals sent between a nerve and its muscle or gland.
Commonly known for it’s use cosmetic uses, it can also be helpful in the treatment of many medical issues including:

  • Spasticity
  • dystonia (eg cervical torticollis, blepharospasm and other focal dystonias)
  • hemifacial spasm
  • chronic migraine (more than 15 days of headache per month)
  • certain tics and tremors
  • sialorrhea (excessive drooling)

BoTN is different than other treatments, such as oral medications, because it is able to target only the problematic areas opposed to having more generalized effects. 

Because the effect is temporary, BoTN needs to be injected regularly, about once every 3 months on average.

To find a doctor treating these conditions with Botox, call us at 800-328-8542