ANTI WRINKLE DRUG INFORMATION
Muscle relaxant drug information
What is the prescription only medication used?
Muscle relaxants are natural products made by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Since 1978 it has been used in a purified form and in tiny amount by ophthalmologists to correct Squints. We now know it is also a safe and effective treatment of facial lines around the forehead and eyes. The benefits are particular in people who frown all the time and consequently look angry. It may also reduce the frequency of migraines and tension headaches.
What does treatment involve?
The treatment involves from 3 to 10 small injections at one time into the areas being treated. The needle used is very fine and so the procedure is relatively painless. The effect will commence 3 to 10 days later with frown lines being softened. As part of the treatment one’s ability to frown is greatly reduced – this may feel strange at first but one quickly becomes used to it. Sometimes a top up injection is required at 2 weeks if some of the areas have not “taken”. The effect lasts for 4 months with further injections after this time often lasting longer. Sometimes after 2 or 3 treatments the nerve receptors may not regrow and the effects will be permanent.
Can anyone use it?
The treatment is very safe but as with all drugs we would not recommend it for children and pregnant or breast feeding women.
The following should NOT have the anti-wrinkle mediction: Patients with Myaesthenia Gravis or taking aminoglycoside antibiotics (eg if you take any of the following names written on your medications – Gentamicin, Soframycin, Tobramycin).
Are there any side effects?
The treatment is very safe the main side effects being some local redness for several hours. Occasionally there is bruising. As with any injections there is a potential for allergic reactions and local infection but these are uncommon. As the anti-wrinkle injection starts to work 3-20 days later you may experience a slight headache for the day.
The main serious side effect is called ptosis or drooping of the eyelid. This is uncommon and only temporary usually lasting less than 3 days although cases lasting several months have been recorded.
A pseudo-ptosis may occur when treated from line muscles relax so much that the eyebrow drops giving heaviness to the upper lids. The effect may take 4-6 weeks to wear off. It is more likely to occur when treating the glabella and the frown lines at the same time, so we avoid this, but it can occur treating just one area in very sensitive individuals. Sometimes your doctor may give you a small dose the first time you have the medication which may mean you need a top up at 2 weeks.
Some minor pre-existing asymmetry may get more noticeable. Also, diffusion into surrounding muscles possible, which is not always great news.
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