Dr Singh who runs his botox clinic in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in his latest blog shares his thoughts on what botox is and what it is not.
What is Botulinum Toxin Type A and how does it work In this blog I will be discussing the use of Botulinum Toxin A (Botox®) as a muscle relaxant. It’s essential to have a firm understanding of what it is exactly and it’s mechanism of action as your patients will ask you and they may have some misconceptions about it from their friends and the media. Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox®) is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. To my patients I explain it is a purified protein and comes from bacteria similar to antibiotics. In addition I explain it is like any other medicine, in correct low doses it’s therapeutic and in high/dangerous doses its toxic. Numerous studies have been conducted to confirm the safety aspect of this drug.
In simple terms Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox®) interfere with neural transmissions by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. This is why the effects are temporary as the nerve begins to branch out to send new nerve ending to the muscle to tell it to move. The greatest misconception clinicians have is they should inject into the muscle, however the biggest benefit is obtained from aiming for the neuromuscular region.
Currently there are 3 types of Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox®) available for aesthetic treatments: AbobotulinumtoxinA – Azzalure®; Galderma Incobotulinumtoxina- Bocouture®; Merz Aesthetics OnabotulinumtoxinA – Botox®®; Allergan In the rest of this article I will be talking about Azzalure® which is a registered trademark of Galderma and is indicated for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines seen at frown. You can still administer it for the forehead and eyes but it will be off licence in these two areas. My preference for Azzalure® is due to its fast onset, long duration of action and high level of patient satisfaction. The potency of Azzalure® is measured in Speywood units and these are specific to its preparation and are not interchangeable with units of other preparations.
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