Botulinum toxin or Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces a neurotoxin, which is used to develop the drug called Botox. A few conditions of your muscles can be medically treated with this drug. It is even used to paralyze muscles for a short time so that the wrinkles can be removed cosmetically.
Botulinum toxin is sold in medical stores with the following popular names –
- Botox cosmetic, Vistabel, Botox (botulinum toxin type A)
- Dysport (botulinum toxin type A or AbobotulinumtoxinA)
- Xeomin, Bocouture (botulinum toxin type A)
- Myobloc (botulinum toxin type B)
Does it work effectively?
You’ll rarely come across a more poisonous substance like Botulinum toxin. A million individuals could be easily killed by as little as one gram of this substance. The entire human race can be eradicated from Earth when only about 2 kilos of it is used. A severe illness like botulism that threatens human life can result out of botulinum toxin in high concentrations. In case Botulism isn’t treated properly, it might cause death following a sudden respiratory failure. Botulinum toxin is pretty much in demand although it’s so toxic in nature.
Botulinum toxin has turned out to be a crucial therapeutic protein that succeeds in terms of treating a number of clinical conditions, treatment frequency and dosage.
Small concentrations of Botulinum toxin can be injected into our bodies and it plays an active role in blocking nerve cell signals from reaching our muscles. This in turn paralyzes our muscles as they don’t receive any instruction to contract.
Cosmetic and medical uses
Botulinum toxin is known for removing thin lines and wrinkles in aging faces, thus making you look smoother and younger. Besides being so effective in a plastic surgery, it seems to be useful in curing various medical conditions like leaking bladders, excessive sweating, migraines and squinting eyes. Of late, botulinum toxin is used to treat about 20 such conditions, and a few new conditions are being added up in the list every day.
Botulinum toxin supports the following therapeutic uses:
- Spasticity in the upper limb following a stroke
- Crossed eyes (Strabismus)
- Detrusor Overactivity causing incontinence of urine
- Axillary Hyperhidrosis if a severe nature
- Overactive Bladder
- Chronic Migraine
- Hemifacial Spasm
- Severe spasms in the muscles of one’s shoulder and neck (Cervical Dystonia)
- Crow’s Feet Lines
- Glabellar Lines
- Canthal Lines
- Eyelid Spasms
Other Uses (not mentioned in its label):
- Oddi Dysfunction Sphincter
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Oromandibular Dystonias
- Anismus and Anal Fissure
- Laryngeal Dystonia
How does this procedure take place?
Saline or sodium chloride is used to dilute a powdered form of botulinum. The neuromuscular tissue may acquire it through a direct injection. It takes up to 72 hours for this toxin to turn active; it shows the amount of time required by the synaptosomal process to get disrupted. Under certain circumstances, the patients may have to wait for up to five days for observing its wholesome effect.
Lactating or pregnant women should avoid Botox. It should also be avoided by individuals that show an allergic reaction towards any of the ingredients of this drug.