Botulinum toxin injection therapy, also known as ‘BOTOX Therapy’ (onabotulinumtoxinA) is used to treat various neuromuscular disorders producing involuntary muscle contractions, and spasms which affect muscles that control movement in the eyes, neck, face, limbs, voice box, or the smooth muscle in the bladder. The Botox therapy aims in reducing muscle spasm and pain.
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin is produced by Clostridium Botulinum, a bacterium that causes food poisoning (botulism).
There are seven known types of C. Botulinum toxin, but only types A-(BOTOX Cosmetic) and type B-(Myobloc) are used as medical treatments.
Why is Botox therapy suggested?
Botox therapy, as mentioned above, is indicated for various muscular disorders and spasms. These can be:
- Forceful involuntary closure of the eyelids (blepharospasm)
- Misalignment of the eyes (strabismus)
- Sudden contraction of the muscles on one side of the face (hemifacial spasm)
- Muscle spasm in the neck that causes the head to turn to one side, and sometimes forward or backward (spasmodic torticollis, or cervical dystonia)
- Continuous spasms of the face, jaw, neck, tongue, larynx, and in severe cases, the respiratory system (oromandibular dystonia)
- Severe inability to urinate that requires catheterization (urinary retention)
- Spasm of the vocal cords that causes sudden disruption of speech (spasmodic dysphonia)
- Repetitions of parts of words and whole words, long pauses, elongated sounds (stuttering)
- Quavering vocalization (voice tremor)
- Limb spasticity
How is the Botox Therapy done?
Botulinum toxin is administered by diluting the powder in saline (sodium chloride) and injecting it directly into neuromuscular tissue. It takes 24-72 hours for Botulinum toxin to take effect, which reflects the time needed for the toxin to disrupt the synaptosomal process.
In very rare circumstances, it may take as long as 5 days for the full effect of Botulinum toxin to be observed.
Am I a candidate of Botox therapy?
Yes, if you have any such persisting symptom as mentioned above, and in case you are not responding well to oral medications, physical therapies and rehabilitation techniques.
Botulinum toxin should not be used in pregnant or lactating women, or by people who have had a previous allergic reaction to the drug or any of its ingredients.
Botox is commonly recommended in pain and palliative conditions because of its good results. This treatment is temporary. Neurons generate new nerve endings that reactivate the abnormal muscle tone (dystonia), so the treatment is usually repeated every 3 to 4 months. Physical or occupational therapy usually is undertaken to stretch and restore normal muscle function. Some patients develop antibodies to the toxin over time, rendering the treatment ineffective.