Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA), also called botulinum toxin type A, is made from the bacteria that causes botulism. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity.
Botox is used to treat cervical dystonia (severe spasms in the neck muscles), muscle spasms in the arms and hands, and severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis).
Botox is also used to treat certain eye muscle conditions caused by nerve disorders. This includes uncontrolled blinking or spasm of the eyelids, and a condition in which the eyes do not point in the same direction.
Botox is also used to treat overactive bladder and incontinence (urine leakage) caused by nerve disorders such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. It is also used to prevent chronic migraine headaches in adults who have migraines for more than 15 days per month, each lasting 4 hours or longer. Botox should not be used to treat a common tension headache.
Botox Cosmetic is used to temporarily lessen the appearance of facial wrinkles.
You should not receive this medication if you have an infection in the area where the medicine will be injected. Botox should not be used to treat overactive bladder and incontinence if you have a current bladder infection or if you are unable to urinate and you do not routinely use a catheter.
The botulinum toxin contained in this medication can spread to other body areas beyond where it was injected. This has caused serious life-threatening side effects in some people receiving botulism toxin injections, even for cosmetic purposes.
Call your doctor at once if you have a hoarse voice, drooping eyelids, vision problems, severe muscle weakness, loss of bladder control, or trouble breathing, talking, or swallowing. Some of these effects can occur up to several hours or several weeks after receiving a Botox injection.
Before I receive Botox
You should not receive Botox if you are allergic to botulinum toxin, or if you have:
- an infection in the area where the medicine will be injected; or
- (for overactive bladder and incontinence) if you have a current bladder infection or if you are unable to urinate and you do not routinely use a catheter.
To make sure Botox is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s disease”);
- myasthenia gravis;
- Lambert-Eaton syndrome;
- a breathing disorder such as asthma or emphysema;
- problems with swallowing;
- facial muscle weakness (droopy eyelids, weak forehead, trouble raising your eyebrows);
- a change in the normal appearance of your face;
- bleeding problems;
- heart disease;
- if you have had or will have surgery (especially on your face);
- if you have ever received other botulinum toxin injections such as Dysport or Myobloc (especially in the last 4 months); or
- if you have ever had a side effect after receiving a botulinum toxin in the past.
Botox is made from human plasma (part of the blood) which may contain viruses and other infectious agents. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Botox will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Botox can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.