And You Thought Botox Was Used Only for Wrinkles

Botox is such a famous brand name that some people think it has been around for a long time. That is true, but not for the reasons it became so famous. Botox was only approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of wrinkles. Obviously, since that time this neuromodulator has taken the aesthetic world by storm. Each year, Botox is the single most popular cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical.

But Botox was working in other areas of human health long before it took on crow’s feet. Here are some additional facts about Botox:

The origins or Botox

Most people have some idea that Botox comes from the bacteria that also cause botulism. Clostridium botulinum is the organism from which Botox is derived. Surprisingly, these bacteria can be found in their inactive form all through the natural environment, including in cultivated soil and in forest soil, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal and untreated waters. Maybe that’s why your Mom told you never to eat dirt!

Medicinal uses

Botox is no stranger to the medical world; it has been used medicinally for decades. After it was found that the botulinum toxin type A, when injected in very small amounts, could make muscles temporarily stop contracting it was tried in various capacities. It is now used for the following therapeutic applications:

  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Blepharospasm (involuntary eyelid spasms)
  • Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms)
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Chronic migraine headaches
  • Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Overactive bladder

It is also used “off-label” for:

  • Achalasia (esophageal problems creating difficulty swallowing)
  • Sialorrhea (hypersalivation)
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Hepatopancreatic dysfunction
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Oromandibular dystonia (forceful contraction of the jaw, face, and/or tongue)
  • Laryngeal dystonia (forceful contraction of the vocal cords)

More about Botox

More than six million Botox treatments are given each year, far and away the most of any cosmetic procedure of any type.

Although Botox is by far the most popular brand, the botulinum toxin is also sold commercially under these other brand names: Vistabel, Dysport, Bocouture, Xeomin, and Myobloc.

Do you want to become a member of Botox’s fan club? Call Dr. Jones at 405.418.5400 to make an appointment.

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