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Botox relaxes the muscles

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 280 views

Botox is a muscle relaxant medication. It is not only used in cosmetic medicine, but is also successfully used to treat excessive sweating, neurological diseases and pain therapy. Find out more about the effects, side effects and use of the muscle-relaxing drug here.

This active ingredient is in Botox

With its active ingredient botulinum toxin type A or type B, Botox belongs to the class of muscle relaxants. These ensure the relaxation of permanently tense muscle groups by inhibiting the release of messenger substances that are necessary for muscle tension.

The natural active ingredient is a toxin and comes from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is prepared for medical use to enable safe use.

The name Botox is now used as a synonym for various products containing botulinum toxin. It is actually a protected brand name of a manufacturer.

When is Botox used?

The range of applications of Botox treatment is very broad and must be clarified individually. It includes the therapy of:

  • persistent muscle spasms ( eyelid , face, neck, shoulders)
  • existing spasms of the muscles in the wrists from previous strokes
  • excessive sweating in the armpits (hyperhidrosis)

Loss of urine in bladder problems caused by spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis (the body overreacts to its own tissues):

  • Chronic migraine and tension headache symptoms
  • mimic wrinkles (aesthetic application)

What side effects does Botox have?

The Botox side effects usually occur immediately after the start of therapy. These usually go away again, but in some cases the symptoms can also persist for a longer period of time.

If breathing, swallowing and speech disorders develop after the Botox application or hives , swelling of the affected area, wheezing, fainting or altered breathing occur, the patient must consult a doctor immediately.

The local side effects depend on the application site. Since the introduction of Botox treatment, the following side effects have been observed:

  • hypersensitivity reactions
  • chronic muscle diseases ( myasthenia gravis )
  • visual problems
  • Cardiovascular disorders ( arrhythmias , heart attacks)
  • relaxing or paralyzing effect on muscle groups not involved (e.g. half of the face)
  • Movement restrictions (arm, shoulder)
  • decreased sensitivity of the skin
  • aching muscles
  • Headaches (common when using Botox for migraines)
  • Impairments of the gastrointestinal tract ( abdominal pain , loss of appetite , diarrhea , vomiting, feeling unwell)
  • epileptic seizures or seizures
  • itching
  • increased sweating
  • Hearing and vestibular problems ( hearing loss , ringing in the ears, vertigo)
  • Flu-like symptoms ( fever , runny nose , cough , sore throat , feeling unwell)
  • general side effects of the injection (pain, bruising, infection, discomfort, swelling, redness)

If the side effects mentioned occur or symptoms not mentioned here occur, a doctor should always be consulted.

You should keep this in mind when applying Botox

The medicine is injected by a specialist doctor into the muscles (intramuscularly), into the skin (intradermally) or into the bladder wall using special instruments. The drug is injected at multiple points in the affected area.

Dosage, duration of action and number of necessary injections vary depending on the location and existing previous illness. The Botox powder should be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer. The solution prepared by the doctor can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours, but should be injected as soon as possible.

After the Botox effect has worn off, another injection is only advisable after about twelve weeks.

Botox: contraindications

The drug must not be used by the attending physician in the case of:

  • an existing allergy to the active substance or other ingredients
  • inflammation at the desired application site
  • a urinary tract infection or a problem with emptying your bladder

Botox should only be done after a careful benefit-risk assessment by the doctor treating you:

  • previous problems with injections
  • significant weakness or atrophy of the muscles to be treated
  • problems with swallowing that have already occurred
  • Chronic muscle diseases or muscular deficits (myasthenia gravis, Eaton-Lambert syndrome)
  • Impairments of the nervous system (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, neuromuscular diseases)
  • Eye diseases (e.g. angle-closure glaucoma)
  • a previous injury or surgery to the muscle being treated

The doctor should be informed about the simultaneous use of other medications before the Botox treatment. Some medicines can interact with Botox, making it less effective. Such drugs are:

  • Antibiotics (against bacterial infections)
  • other muscle relaxants (muscle relaxants)
  • Drugs with anticoagulant (platelet aggregation inhibitors) or blood-thinning (anticoagulant) effects

Botox: pregnancy and lactation

It is not advisable to use Botox during pregnancy, breastfeeding or in women of childbearing age who are not using contraception. There are no studies showing negative effects on mother and child. Nevertheless, a pregnancy should be reported to the doctor immediately before a Botox treatment. Early weaning should be considered during lactation.

Botox: driving and using machines

The Botox effect can cause dizziness , tiredness or visual disturbances. If these symptoms occur, you must not actively participate in road traffic or operate machines.

Botox: overdose

The possible consequences of an overdose are not felt immediately after the injection. The complaints are expressed after the side effects already mentioned (breathing, swallowing, speech disorders, swallowing of food). In the event of an overdose, you should consult a doctor immediately.

How to get Botox

Botox is a prescription drug. It may only be used by physicians who have the appropriate qualifications and expertise in the context of use.

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