Botulinum toxin is a protein derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It was once considered the most deadly substance in the world. So deadly, in fact, that the US government studied its use as a biological weapon during World War II. The US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) developed a plan to use Chinese prostitutes to assassinate Japanese officials with whom they consorted with. The plan was to use small capsules that could be easily concealed on the woman and slipped into the officer’s food or drink. The capsules were made, but the plan never came to fruition.
It is from this same toxin that Botox® and its FDA approved competitor, Dysport®, are made. Scary right? Not really. In minute amounts, which Botox® contains, it is incredibly useful in medicine. Botox® is often just associated with its cosmetic uses, but it actually has over 20 approved medical uses in 80 countries and many more exciting uses are being explored. It is successfully used to treat some forms of incontinence, eye muscle disorders, TMJ, and excessive sweating. Last fall the FDA approved its use in the treatment of migraines.
This is exciting news for those who have tried eliminating migraine triggers and have tried multiple supplements and prescriptions without success. Some insurance companies will even pay for a portion of the cost. This is good news because a typical treatment for migraines requires about 150 units to be injected in 31 different sites along the forehead, temples, neck, and upper back. To pup this is perspective, a typical cosmetic treatment requires only about 25-30 units. For those with chronic migraines, however, finding an effective treatment is life-changing, and well worth the cost. By eliminating migraines, Botox® might indirectly help get rid of some of those frown lines!
Botox® provides relief for a whole host of ailments and will undoubtedly continue to be in the news as research uncovers its effectiveness in treating more than just wrinkles. To learn more about using Botox® to treat migraine pain, or to take advantage of Botox’s renowned ability to erase wrinkles, schedule an appointment today.