Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 348 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 13-Dec-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 14-Dec-2004
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Information for patients: Botox at-a-glance

Botox™ is used to improve the look of mild to severe frown lines for a short time.

What is Botox™?

  • Botox™ comes from a kind of bacteria. The bacteria can make you very sick. But doctors have found that the chemical in Botox™ can also help treat some health problems. They have been using it safely for many years.

How does Botox™ work?

  • Some wrinkles are caused when a muscle contracts (tightens up). Botox™ is injected through the skin into the muscle with a needle. The Botox™ keeps the muscle from contracting. When the muscle can't contract, the wrinkle doesn't show as much.

You mean you can't move your muscles?

  • A trained doctor will inject small amounts of Botox™ into a small part of the muscle. Only that muscle can't move.

What happens over the long term?

  • The action of Botox™ lessens with time. So the muscle returns to normal within a few months. You begin to see the wrinkle again.

How was this found?

  • Botox™ was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) over 10 years ago to treat certain diseases of the eye muscle. Doctors noticed that some wrinkles around the eyes looked better, too. The company that makes Botox™ tested it. They showed the FDA that Botox™ worked and was safe for treating certain types of wrinkles.

Are there any side effects? Yes.

  • Side effects may include:
  • Droopy eyelids, which can last for a few weeks
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache and nausea (upset stomach)

(REMEMBER: Botox™ is a drug, not a cosmetic.)

Are Botox Parties Safe?

Botox™ is approved for selling in single-use tubes. Each tube is made to be used only once and only for one patient. Using the tube more than once can spread germs. Treating more than one person with one tube goes against the product directions. Also, Botox™ needs to be used within 4 hours after the tube is opened.

What should I do if I want to try Botox™?

  • Make sure you get treatment in a doctor's office or hospital. Make sure your doctor is trained and "takes time to care."

Thinking about Botox?

  • Be sure that a skilled doctor does the treatment.
  • Make sure the doctor is trained in cosmetic skin surgery of the face.
  • Ask about the benefits and risks of the treatment.
  • Choose a medical setting where everything is kept clean and germ-free.
  • Emergency equipment should be on hand in case of a problem.
  • Do not drink alcohol and do not lie down for several hours after the treatment.

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