Side Effects of Botox

Toxicity of botulinum toxin in human is very low, due to use of minute quantities for medicinal and cosmetic purpose. There are several side effects of Botox, although most of them are temporary and minor in nature. The side effects of Botox are mainly due to protenaceous nature of the product and due to mechanism of action of Botox. Side effects are mainly of two categories, namely allergic reaction (due to protenaceous nature of Botox) and paralysis of the wrong muscle along with the desired muscle paralysis (due to mechanism of action).19667tae9xjszoe-300x199.jpg

Side effects of Botox due to protenaceous nature:

They are mainly allergic manifestations, because allergic manifestation is caused by antigens, which are protein in nature.

Side effects of Botox due to its mechanism of action:

Botulinum toxin acts by inhibiting release of physiological neurotransmitter acetylcholine form its stored vesicles in the neurons. Due to lack of acetylcholine muscle paralysis occurs, as acetylcholine is required for contraction of muscles.

The side effects occur due to affect of Botox on the wrong muscles and overexpression of pharmacological action. For example injection of Botox in face may cause paralysis of muscles of eyelids and result in drooping of eyelids and inability to close eyes. Paralysis of muscles on one side may result in asymmetrical smile.

Injection of Botox in jaw muscle (masseter muscle) may result in loss or reduction of power to chew.

Other side effects of Botox:

There are also some side effects that are not related to Botox, such as bruising at site of injection. In cosmetic use bruising may result in drooping of eyelids, inability to close eyes, diplopia (double vision), asymmetric smile etc. With appropriate precaution (application of pressure to the injection site) bruising can be reduced to great extent. Generally bruising lasts for one to two weeks, but sometimes may lasts up to 6 weeks.

Botox may also cause flu-like syndromes, headaches, dry mouth, blurring of vision, difficulty in swallowing, redness and swelling at injection site.

There are some reports of death due to use of Botox, although none of them are due to cosmetic use. The deaths were due to spread of Botox to areas distant from the site of the injection for treatment of various ailments and with see of various dose ranges.

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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