“The drug that’s treating everything”
That is how TIME magazine let us know how Botox is currently being used, well beyond its most popular cosmetic use.
You no doubt know that Botox (onabotulinum toxin Type A) is used by multiple millions around the world for relaxation of wrinkles between the eyebrows and for crow’s feet. Many aesthetic physicians also use Botox and it’s more modern siblings to treat forehead, lip, nasal, chin and mouth corners wrinkles. Microinjections of Botox are used to reduce skin oiliness and refine the look of large pores.
Botox treatments extend beyond its use in aesthetics. It did after all start off being used for blepharospasm (eye twitches/spasm), spasmodic dysphonia (vocal spasm) and cervical dystonia. Current use of Botox includes both FDA approved and off-label indications such as chronic migraines, overactive bladder, excessive underarm sweating, crossed eyes (strabismus), lockjaw, teeth grinding, premature ejaculation, severe cold hands, painful sex, severe neck spasms, anal fissures, abnormal heartbeat after open-heart surgery, pediatric cleft lip scars and depression.
The use of Botox in the treatment of depression is intriguing. Although a consensus has not been reached, a small study of people with major depression found that 52% of those who received Botox had improvement in their symptoms six weeks later, when compared to 15% of those given placebo. Allergan is currently conducting Phase 2 clinical trials to see if the original study holds true for a larger sample size. The psychiatrists involved in the original study think the mechanism of action for Botox’ role in improving symptoms of depression relates to the facial-feedback hypothesis which theorizes that facial expression influence mood. Smile and it may cheer you up; if you cannot frown or scowl you will not feel as anxious or sad. Perhaps then it is not your imagination that getting your Botox or Xeomin wrinkle relaxing treatments made you feel better!
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