BOTOX® is a therapeutic agent derived from the bacterium, Clostridium Botulinum; Also known as Botulinum Toxin Type A. The brand BOTOX® is produced in controlled laboratory conditions and given in extremely small therapeutic doses originally for the treatment of blepharospasm (eye spasm) and strabismus (misalignment of the eye). BOTOX Purified Neurotoxin Complex is a vacuum-dried form of purified botulinum toxin type A and is being investigated for several conditions associated with overactive muscle activity.

Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of adults with blepharospasm. IncobotulinumtoxinA is made from the bacteria that causes botulism. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity.

What Are BOTOX® and Xeomin ® Used For?

Botulinum products were originally intended for the treatment of blepharospasm (eye spasm). However, BOTOX was approved in 2002 for cosmetic applications to improve the look of fine lines and superficial wrinkles caused by every day facial expressions like smiling, frowning or squinting by prohibiting these movements. Doctors can use Xeomin off-label to treat the same facial lines treated by Botox, including frown lines, crow’s feet, and forehead wrinkles. If you find that the early signs of aging are becoming apparent or if your facial expressions are causing premature wrinkles to appear, then botulinum products may be for you.

They are also used in the prevention or smoothing of wrinkles, by prohibiting you from making the facial gestures that cause wrinkles. They may not completely remove a static wrinkle. They only disallow you from furrowing your brow or squinting a certain part around your eye. If your wrinkles are static, then it may lessen them a bit. However, if your wrinkles are superficial it can smooth it considerably so that it appears that they have been removed.

More than 84,000 people worldwide have been treated with Xeomin injections. The U.S. is actually the 20th country to approve this new drug. The effects of Xeomin occur within one week, and the results last from three to six months, making it comparable to Botox in terms of both onset and duration of action.

How Does It Work?

Normally, your brain sends electrical messages to your muscles so that they can contract and move. The electrical message is transmitted to the muscle by a substance called acetylcholine. Botulinum products work to block the release of acetylcholine and, as a result, the muscle does not receive the message to contract. This means that the muscle spasms or movements that cause wrinkling, stop or are greatly reduced. Patients sometimes refer to the effects of the injection to their area of treatment as being paralyzed.

Risks: There is a risk that all botulinum toxin products may spread from the area where they were injected into other parts of the body, causing potentially life-threatening swallowing and breathing problems. This was predominantly seen in children treated with Botox off-label for cerebral palsy. These issues have not been reported among people who received botulinum products for cosmetic uses or to treat blepharospasm.

Other risks may include bleeding and bruising at the injection site and allergic reactions such as itching, swelling or shortness of breath. Your doctor should discuss all the potential risks of this procedure with you during your consultation.

When Xeomin is used to treat blepharospasm, the most common side effects of Xeomin were eyelid sagging, dry eye, dry mouth, diarrhea, headache, visual impairment, shortness of breath (dyspnea), and upper respiratory infections.

Warning: Pregnant women must not receive injections of BOTOX® due to the possible crossing of the placenta.

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