Botulinum toxin is derived from a bacterium that blocks the release of acetylcholine, the substance responsible for transmitting electrical impulses that elicit muscle contraction. In medicine, botulinum toxin is injected directly into hyperactive muscles. It has been safely and effectively used for treatment of strabismus (cross-eye) and blepharospasm (lid spasm) since the early eighties.
Hyperactivity of the facial expression muscles often results in the development of deep frown lines, forehead lines and/or crow’s feet. Injecting botulinum toxin into the affected area temporarily paralyzes the underlying muscles responsible for wrinkling, giving the face a more relaxed and pleasant appearance. The wrinkles become smoother or disappear altogether.
The initial effects of treatment become visible after 72 hours. The maximum effect is reached in about 1 to 2 weeks. Your facial expression will become more relaxed but by no means mask-like. The overall result is very natural. The effect of treatment generally lasts for 3 to 6 months. Re-treatment is then required.
Botulinum toxin injection is generally a safe and effective treatment method. Nevertheless, certain side effects can occur but, like the intended treatment effects, they are mostly reversible. At this appointment, you will be informed about the potential side effects of botulinum toxin therapy, contradictions to therapy, and potential drug interactions.
Potential side effects:
Drug interactions can occur when botulinum toxin is used concomitantly with other medications. Since these medications can alter the effects of botulinum toxin, you must ensure that your doctor is aware of any current medications you are taking especially: