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Botox Safety

Botox belongs to a class of drugs called botulinum toxins, commonly known as the cause of botulism, a type of food poisoning. Also known as botulinum toxin type A, a muscle relaxer, Botox has been used for more than a decade to treat people suffering from conditions related to overactive muscles. In recent years, its most common use has shifted to treating people with facial wrinkles, especially those between the brow lines.

Unlike oral medications, which have to travel through the blood to the affected part of the body, Botox is administered via injection directly to the point on the body that needs treatment. Patients will begin to see results within days of their first treatment. One 10-minute treatment of a few tiny injections produces results that can last as long as four months.

The only FDA-approved treatment of its kind, Botox is a non-surgical alternative to cosmetic surgery, which works by reducing the contractions of the muscles that cause persistent frown lines in the brow.

More than one million people have opted for Botox treatments. While there are some possible side effects, the procedure appears to be safe for most patients. For their own safety and for the success of the treatment, people should avoid receiving Botox injections if they have an infection in the site of injection, if they have hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients in the drug formula, or if they have neurological disorders, such as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease), myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome. These people are at increased risk of potentially serious side effects.

People with neuromuscular diseases are also at risk of cardiovascular problems that may arise during or after having Botox treatments. They should be advised of these safety precautions before treatment. Likewise, anyone with cardiovascular disease may be at risk for danger during a Botox procedure and should tell their doctor of their condition.

Botox is recommended for patients between the ages of 18 and 65. All other patients should not consider Botox as a safe treatment for their condition. People who are breastfeeding, pregnant or who may be pregnant should also avoid receiving Botox injections.

There are always safety concerns associated with starting any new medication. A consultation with a doctor experienced in administering Botox injections will help ease concerns about the safety of the procedure. As with all medications, it is important to discuss any existing conditions with a doctor before beginning treatments.

For more information on botox safety, contact an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.