Botox

1 What is Botox?

Brand: Botox, Botox Cosmetic

Generic: Onabotulinumtoxina (Intramuscular route, intradermal route)

Onabotulinumtoxina is also known and sold under the trade names of Botox and Botox Cosmetic. There are two different types of botulinum toxin products – toxin A and B. These products are used for different causes, e.g. eye problems, muscle stiffness/spasms, migraines, cosmetic, overactive bladder and etc. 

Onabotulinumtoxin is used in the treatment of different eye disorders, e.g. crossed eyes (strabismus) and uncontrolled blinking (blepharospasm) to treat muscle stiffness/spasms and moving disorders, or to decrease the presence of wrinkles around the eyes. 

Onabotulinumtoxin is also used to prevent migraines. It is used in the treatment of muscle stiffness/spasms, by blocking a chemical, known as acetylcholine, and that way it relaxes the muscle. 

Also, it is used within patients with overactive bladder where it helps reduce leaking of urine, the feeling of a need to urinate more frequently, and frequent trips to the bathroom. It could be used in the treatment of over excessive sweating. This product is available in the form of a powder for a solution.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as, about the potential risks and side effects. 

For the decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make. During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:

  • Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
  • Pediatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that this medication is safe to be used within pediatric patients. However, it should be used with extra caution. The beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks.
  • Geriatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that there are no age-related risks and problems when this medication is used within pediatric patients. However, due to the increased risk of heart and kidney problems within the elderly, this medication must be used with extra caution.
  • Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown how would it affect the fetus. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
  • Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. It is unknown if it is extracted in the milk, or how and if it will affect the infant. This medication is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
  • Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur. However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain combination, including two or more medications, to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
  • Other interactions – Certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with specific food, tobacco and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet, and discontinue your use of tobacco and alcohol during the treatment.
  • Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. 

Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present:

3 Proper Usage

For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is available in the form of a powder for solution, and it could be applied by an intramuscular route or intradermal route.

This medication is applied by an injection, intramuscular when it is used in the treatment of muscle stiffness/spasms, eye disorders and wrinkles. It is applied by an injection, intradermal when it is used in the treatment of over excessive sweating

When it is used in the treatment of overactive bladder, it is applied directly into the bladder. This medication is applied only by an experienced healthcare professional in the hospital.

 The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your condition and the response to the treatment.

4 Precautions to Take

Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments so that he or she would be able to track your conditions and make any adjustments if needed. 

These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue your treatment with this medication, if there are any serious side effects present which would worsen your condition or if your condition does not improve. 

Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur. Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. 

This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. At least two proven forms of birth control should be used, in order to help prevent pregnancy, during the treatment. 

Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. This medication is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. 

This medication may cause muscle weakness, blurred vision and droopy eyelids to occur. Avoid driving and any other activities which require alertness and clear vison.

5 Potential Side Effects

Along with the expected beneficial effects, there are potential side effects which could occur. These side effects do not occur within all patients, also they could be mild or more serious. 

However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects, so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible for further directions.

Common side effects:

These are common side effects which are not considered as serious. However, if their presence persists or worsens, inform the doctor as soon as possible.

A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness

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