Botox -

Botox Side Effects


A Botox injection is considered one of the safest procedures available for the reduction of wrinkles. Botox has been used successfully and safely by ophthalmologists for nearly 20 years and for wrinkle therapy for more than 10 years. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s website Botox is approved for the following medical conditions: cervical dystonia, severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis, atrabismusa and blepharospasm. Botox is also approved for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines. Along with these specifically enumerated uses physicians are permitted to use FDA approved drugs for “off label” treatments. The most popular off label uses are treatments for back and neck pain, migraine headaches and bladder spasms.

In the amounts typically used for wrinkle therapy, side effects are usually localized to the area of injection and temporary. These include localized pain, bruising and/or tenderness at the injection site, dry mouth, blurred vision drooping eyelids, swollen and dry eyes. Localized weakness of the injected muscle(s) is the expected outcome of Botox injections. There have been occasional reports of allergic reactions the symptoms of which may include: rash, dizziness, asthma symptoms and itching. Nearly all patients choose to continue their routine daily activity immediately after a Botox treatment.

There have been recent reports of more serious side effects. These include problems speaking breathing or swallowing, speaking. These problems can occur within hours of a treatment up to weeks after an injection of Botox. The cause seems to be the effect of Botox on the muscles used to breathe. It is important to note that these most severe side effects have been confined to a specific patient population that was very sick (with diagnosed illnesses such as cerebral palsy), physically weak and being treated with massive (non-cosmetic) doses of Botox.

According to Allergan, the manufacturers of Botox: “There has not been a confirmed serious case of spread of toxin effect away from the injection site when Botox has been used at the recommended dose to treat severe underarm sweating, blepharospasm, or strabismus, or when Botox has been used at the recommended dose to treat frown lines.”


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Simon Ourian, M.D.