Botox is a purified neurotoxin called batulium toxin type A. It is produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulimum.
It’s effects have been known for centuries due to food poisoning and subsequent paralysis. Botox is ingeniously purified in small controlled amounts for therapeutic use to treat spasticity in different muscle groups of the body.
It was used in the 1980s by Dr. Scott strabismus (deviation of eyes). In Dec. 1989, it was approved by the FDA for the treatment strabismus and facial spasms. In 2002, the FDA approved it for facial wrinkles. In Nov, 2010, it was approved for the treatment of migraine headaches.
It has been indicated for dystonic spastic conditions like strabismus , involuntary closure of eyes, heavy facial spasms, neck muscle spasms (torticollus), spasm of the vocal cords, spasmodic dysphonia, spasticity following strokes/
In Oct, 2010, it was approved for migraine headaches. Those migraine headaches which do not respond to traditional pharmacological treatment.
It also has been approved for increased perspiration in the armpits (auxilliary hyper hydrosis).
In the muscle, botox bind the nerve endings and inhabit the release of chemical transmitter to actuate muscle contraction, so basically, it blocks the contraction message transmission from the nerve endings to the muscle, however, the nerve endings grow new connections in 3-4 months, so treatment may need to be repeated.
Once the spasmodic muscle is identified, the botox is directly injected into the muscle mass by a small needle. The dose of the botox is adjusted for each condition and the size of the muscles. For migraine headaches, the injections are done along the frontal hariline, temporalis muscles.
If the headaches are in the back of the head, the injections are done in the neck muscles along the oxipital nerve in the base of the skull. Botox also has been used successfully for the lower back spasms in the lumbar spine.
Botox therapy is a safe and effective when used by a qualified physician. However, some patients may experience temporary weaknesses in the muscle group that received botox. Other rare side effects include: flu-like symptoms, difficulty in speaking, breathing, and swallowing. Blurry vision has been reported by some patients.
Botox may take 7-10 days to make its full effect. Patient needs to follow up in the physician’s office in 3-4 weeks after the injection for further assessment and future treatment recommendations.