Botox

 
What is BOTOX® and how does it work?

BOTOX® is a treatment given by injection into the skin. It is recommended for the treatment of hyperhidrosis and it has also been used for many years to treat muscle spasm affecting the eyes, face and neck. BOTOX® is also used to relieve muscle spasm in children with cerebral palsy.

BOTOX® is a very pure preparation of a protein, botulinum toxin type A, obtained from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum grown under modern methods of cultivation. When small doses are injected into the skin, BOTOX® blocks the actions of the nerves that supply the eccrine glands; this prevents the glands from producing sweat. BOTOX® blocks the nerve endings but over about 6-12 weeks the new nerve endings grow to replace them. This means that the effects of treatment last for several months but eventually they will wear off.


What happens during a course of treatment with BOTOX®?

Using a very fine needle, Dr Julie will inject a small amount (0.1 ml - 0.2 ml) of a solution of BOTOX® into 10 to 15 places about 1 cm apart and spread evenly over each armpit. Sometimes a dye is used to show up the areas where sweating is the greatest and where the injections should be placed. A course of treatment takes about 30 minutes.


Does it hurt?

The needles used are very fine so most people experience only mild discomfort. It is uncommon for pain relief to be required.


How quickly does it work and how long will the effects last?

You should notice some change for the better within a week of your treatment.

Different people have different responses to treatment. In a clinical trial, sweat production was reduced by 83% one week after treatment. Furthermore, sweating was reduced by at least half in 95% of patients. Your next treatment can be given when the effects of the first course wear off, this usually happens after 8 to 9 months.

Dr Julie will advise you about when to return for further treatment.  


What happens if I decide to stop the treatment? 
The effects of BOTOX® wear off over a period of several months. If you decide not to have any further treatment there will be no lasting change in the areas treated. Sweating will gradually return to the level it was before you started treatment.


Are there any side effects?
Every treatment has side effects in at least some patients. In clinical trials of the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis with BOTOX® , 11% of patients reported a side effect. About 4.5% of patients experienced increase sweating in another part of the body.

Since the injection is only made into the skin, the effects of BOTOX® will be limited to the nerves supplying the sweat glands. Occasionally a very small amount of BOTOX® may spread out from the injection site and affect a nearby nerve that supplies a muscle. In clinical trials, about 0.7% of patients experienced mild weakness of the arms; this did not last and got better without any treatment.

Because BOTOX® is a protein, there is a small chance that flu like symptoms (tiredness, mild fever, muscle aches) may occur; these will disappear within a few days. You may also may feel a little discomfort from the injection sites.

If any of these effects become troublesome or you notice other effects you think may be caused by your treatment, consult Dr Julie.


Is there any reason why I should not have BOTOX® treatment?
You should not have BOTOX® if you have certain conditions and there are circumstances when you need to take special care.


You should tell Dr Julie:

  • If you think you may be allergic to BOTOX® or anything in the preparation.
  • If you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or if you are breast feeding.
  • If you suffer from any muscle problems.
  • If you are using any antibiotics or drugs to relax muscles.
  • If you have any condition or you are taking any medicine that affects blood clotting, for example aspirin.
  • If you have had any problems with BOTOX® treatment in the past.
  • If you are taking any medicines, including any that have not been prescribed by a Doctor.
  • If you have had some types of surgery to your armpits.


Should I do anything special while I'm being treated with BOTOX®

  • You must avoid becoming pregnant, so make sure you are on an effective contraceptive.
  • You must not breast feed during treatment.
  • You should not be treated with certain types of antibiotics or drugs that relax muscles.
  • If you need to take any medication, at all, check with Dr Julie, before treatment commences, to make sure it is compatible with your BOTOX® treatment.
  • If you find that your arms are affected, for instance if they feel weak, this may impair your ability to drive or use machinery so avoid doing so until you feel better.

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