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  Botox® can be used for wrinkle reduction.

Botoxin therapy can be used for a number of illnesses in addition to the treatment of wrinkle reduction.

Botulinum toxin injection therapy can be used to treat several types of dystonias - or neuromuscular disorders. They create involuntary contractions and spasms disturbing muscles. These muscles may control movement in the eyes, face, voice, or even the intestines or the bladdder.

Botoxin neurotoxin is made by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, and can cause food poisoning (botulism). Many types of Botulinum toxin exist, only types A (BOTOX® Cosmetic) and B (Myobloc®) are used as medical treatments. Botox® and Myobloc® are registered trademarks of Allergan and Elan respectively.

Botulinum toxin has been effective in the therapy of many illnesses, including the following:
  • blepharospasm - involuntary eyelids closure
  • strabismus - misalignment of the eyes
  • torticollis - spasm in the neck
  • urinary bladder retention - inability to urinate
  • dysphonia - vocal chord spasm
  • voice tremor - quivering vocalization

Neurons often create nerve endings that initiate the dystonia after therapy and as a result improvement may not be long lasting. Treatment may be repeated every several months. Physical and occupational therapy can be used as adjuvants to Botox therapy. It has been reported that some patients develop antibodies to the toxin over time, which renders the treatment less effective.

Medical Uses

Purified botulism toxin is the first bacterial toxin to be used as a medicine. FDA licensed botulinum toxin as Oculinum in December 1989 for treating two eye illnesses, blepharospasm and strabismus.

Even though the two eye conditions were the only indications for which it is licensed, botulinum toxin has been used investigationally for a variety of other conditions. Other investigational uses include the items above as well as the management of tics. spasmodic dysphonia (which results in speech that is difficult to understand), urinary bladder muscle relaxation (such as in cases where muscle contraction is severe enough to require catheterized urination), and esophageal muscle relaxation.

Side Effects

When used by a trained and licensed practitioner, Botulinum toxin therapy is a safe and effective treatment when given in very small amounts. Some patients may experience temporary weakness in the muscles which have been treated.

One unexpected side effect found was the diminishment of wrinkles when Botoxin was used to treat neuromuscular disorders in the face.

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