Is the botox a drug or poison ?

What should you know about the most famous poison the twenty-first century? Botox can soften the features and smooth facial lines. It’s used in aesthetic dermatology but his career began in neurology and ophthalmology.

Botox is the commonly used name of botulinum toxin (made from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum causing botulism), one of the strongest poisons known to mankind. There are described several types of botulinum toxin, but the mainly used in the medicine is the type A.

For the first time it was used for medical purposes in 1968. Initially Botox was used in ophthalmology, in the treatment of squint. A Canadian ophthalmologist noticed that the"side effect" of using Botox was smoothing of wrinkles around the treated eyes. These experiences resulted in the development of research on the use of botulinum toxin in dermatology. It was the end of the 80s of the last century and already in 2002 the FDA approved botulinum toxin to be used in anti-wrinkle treatments.

Botulinum toxin blocks the neurotransmitter-acetylcholine and acts at the neuromuscular junctions. A visible effect of this is the muscle relaxation. Blocking the release of acetylcholine is permanent. Fortunately, the effect of Botox is temporary, because our peripheral nerves regenerate quickly. They are produced new, not blocked neural pathways able to conduct a nerve impulse to the muscle.

Botox is used in aesthetic medicine mainly for removing wrinkles in the upper part of the face, as well as for the correction of facial asymmetry. It should be noticed that Botox is not for wrinkle fillings. Botulinum toxin can be used to eliminate wrinkles of forehead, around the eyebrows and eyes, and eliminate crow's feet. Experienced physicians use botulinum toxin to eliminate wrinkles around the mouth, as well as to correct so-called „gingival (gummy) smile”. The paralysis of the target muscle after the treatment lasts approximately 4-6 months.
After the injection may occur complications, like e.g. the facial asymmetry (eyelid droop, cockeyed eyebrows, crooked smile), excessive tearing or dry eye, vision problems.

Generally botox is not recommended for pregnant or breast feeding patients. We recommend to choose only skilled and certified doctors, because incorrectly administered botox can be very dangerous.

The botulinum neurotoxin can also be used for the treatment of excessive sweating, as acetylcholine does affect of the sweat glands. Botox is used mainly on the palms, soles of feet and armpits. Before the treatment is perform an iodine-starch test (Minor’s test), which involves the imposition of potassium iodide and starch in place with symptoms of hyperhidrosis. The test allows to designate precisely the right places for botox injections.

The first effects are noticeable after 3-4 days, and the full effect after 2-3 weeks with the mean duration of approximately 5-8 months.
Side effects are usually minimal and consist decrease in superficial sensation and some hand weakness.

It is worth mentioning about the role of botulinum toxin in the therapy of migraine. The toxin is applied in the forehead, temples and neck.
The patients normally gets the full effect of the treatment after approximately 7 days, although in some of them the full effect occurs immediately after the injection. The full effect lasts for approx. 3-6 months. In most patients, migraine attacks disappear or at least decrease in intensity.