Botox® (Botulinum Toxin Type A) Purified Neurotoxin Complex is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The effects of botulinum toxin have been known since the turn of the century, but not until 1980 was the toxin found to be therapeutically valuable for a number of ophthalmologic disorders.
How does it work?
Botulinum toxin is a nerve impulse "blocker." IT binds to nerve endings and prevents the release of chemicals transmitters that activate muscles. These chemicals carry the "message" from the brain that causes a muscle to contract; if the message is blocked, the muscle doesn't spasm.
Botulinum toxin usually takes full effect within 1 to 2 weeks. However, the nerve endings usually grow new connections to the muscles at sites that have been exposed to botulinum toxin. Therefore, treatment must be repeated as directed by your physician.
Is it safe?
BOTOX® (Botulinum Toxin Type A) Purified Neurotoxin Complex has been recognized by the American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and National Institutes of Health as a safe and effective treatment for blepharospasm associated with dystonia. Over 10 years of clinical experience involving thousands of patients is a testimony to the potential benefits of this treatment. It is important to understand that BOTOX® is an effective, ongoing treatment for the relief of symptoms only - It is not a cure. And, because every patient is different, the degree of relief will vary from person to person. Patients who have been sedentary for a long time should resume activity slowly and carefully following the administration of BOTOX®.
As with any therapeutic, certain patients may experience side effects from the administration of BOTOX®. The side effects most frequently experience by patients are drooping of the eyelid (ptosis): 11%; irritation of the infected area, tearing, dry eye, opening of the eyelid (lagophthalmos), or sensitivity to light (photophobia): 10%; or an outward or inward turning of the eyelid (ectropion or entropion, respectively), inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), or "double vision" (diplopia): less than 1%. These side effects are usually transient in nature, and BOTOX® is generally well tolerated by patients.