Botulinum toxin is used in treatment of muscle spasms (muscle cramp / sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles), spasmodic torticollis (twisted neck or movement disorder causing the neck to turn involuntarily), blepharospasm (involuntary tight closure of the eyelids), and hemi facial spasm (a condition associated with an involuntary contraction of the facial muscles on one side of the face). It is also used in temporary smoothening of facial wrinkles, improving facial appearance, severe underarm sweating, chronic migraine and overactive bladder.
How it works
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It works by blocking the activity of chemical (acetylcholine) in the nerves thereby relieving the symptoms associated with muscle spasms.
Common side effects
Neck pain, Drooping eyelids, Blurred vision, Diarrhoea, Double vision, Difficulty in swallowing, Shortness of breath, Eyelid swelling, Fatigue, Headache, Inability to control urination, Muscle stiffness, Muscle weakness, Muscle pain, Weakness, Limb pain, Fever, Injection site bruise, Injection site bleeding
• Inform the doctor if you have any history of bronchitis, pneumonia or problems with breathing, allergy to botulinum toxin, bleeding disorder, difficulty in swallowing, and muscle weakness at site of injection.
• Tell your doctor if you had any eye surgeries or have any other eye problems such as glaucoma (increase in pressure inside the eye which causes visual problems) or if you are being treated for blepharospasm (involuntary tight closure of the eyelids).
• Do not drive or operate machinery after taking botulinum toxin as it may cause muscle weakness or problem with vision.
• Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
• Should not be given to patients allergic to botulinum toxin or to any of its ingredients.
• Should not be given to patients with generalized disorders of muscle activity such as myasthenia gravis (abnormal weakness of certain muscles).
• Should not be given to patient with infection at the injection site.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Botulinum toxin an agonist or antagonist?
No it is neither an agonist nor antagonist. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It acts by blocking the activity of chemical (acetylcholine) in the brain.
Q. Is botulinum toxin dangerous?
Yes, botulinum toxin causes neurotoxicity.
Q. How does botulinum toxin cause paralysis?
Botulinum toxin interferes with neural transmission by blocking the release of a chemical acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis.