Botox injections are the best known of a group of medications that use various forms of botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze muscle activity. This toxin is produced by the microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.

Botox injections are noted primarily for the ability to reduce the appearance of some facial wrinkles. They are also used to treat such problems as repetitive neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder and lazy eye. Botox injections may also help prevent chronic migraines in some people.

Botox was the first drug to use botulinum toxin. Other products now include Dysport, Myobloc and Xeomin. Each is a little different, particularly when it comes to dosage units, so they aren't interchangeable.

Mayo Clinic's approach

Aug. 10, 2017
  1. Carruthers J, et al. Overview of botulinum toxin for cosmetic injections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 25, 2015.
  2. Botox medication guide. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM176360.pdf. Accessed Nov. 25, 2015.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Spasticity. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  4. Avram MR, et al., eds. Injectables. In: Procedural Dermatology. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015.
  5. FDA approves Botox to treat overactive bladder. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm336101.htm. Accessed Nov. 25, 2015.
  6. AskMayoExpert. Periocular spasm. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  7. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 10, 2015.