The popularity of Botox has been mainly for its ability to help individuals turn back the clock by reducing wrinkles. However, it is also used for treating various conditions that are unrelated to cosmetic outcomes. Medications come with the possibility of undesirable effects, and subsequent sections offer detailed information about the injection, including side effects of Botox. This will help individuals be fully aware of possible outcomes when used as part cosmetic enhancement procedures. Clients who choose the procedure for cosmetic enhancements are often likely to overlook the effects, whereas, when prescribed medically, the effects are followed in great detail.

Overview of Botox injections

Botox is a neurotoxin produced from microbes that are responsible for botulism, a dreaded food poisoning condition. The injection is generally used to temporarily prevent targeted muscles from moving, and this results in a reduction in the number of wrinkles on the face. The injections, by virtue of being temporary in nature, need to be periodically administered for sustained results. Other conditions treated by Botox include cervical dystonia the medical term for neck spasms, and excessive sweating, medically known as hyperhidrosis. It is also used for treating other conditions such as migraine, specific eye conditions (strabismus) and overactive bladder.

It is used for helping manage urinary incontinence that is attributed to neurological issues, and is also used for managing blepharospasm. This refers to the condition of excessive blinking, that is involuntary in nature. Another condition that is treated with the injection is spasticity; a condition that refers to abnormal muscle, which ends up with the individuals having to put up with various difficulties. For instance, stiffness of the muscles, difficulty in speaking coherently, and abnormal movements are all possibilities due to spasticity.

Available formulations

The injection comes in a liquid form that is administered either intramuscularly, or as an intradermal injection. The injection is also administered in the inner walls of the bladder, and these injections are called intradetrusor injections.

Commonly reported side effects of Botox

All medications come with the possibility of undesirable effects and this includes Botox injections. Effects may be either mild or moderate in nature and the effects could also be serious and adverse in nature. It is not mandatory for all users to experience unwanted outcomes, as some are known to be free from all undesirable effects. The mild or moderate effects may not last long and will typically resolve naturally, In the event that the conditions or effects do not resolve naturally, simple symptomatic treatments are known to deliver desired results. The serious or adverse effects are rare in occurrence and require medical intervention. Depending on the condition, it may be necessary for patients to seek emergency attention.

Here is a short compilation of some of the possible outcomes. This is not a complete or exhaustive list of effects, and is only intended to serve as a reference. Some of the effects are specific to the condition being treated, and will therefore be experienced only when taken for the particular condition. The actual effects depend on a variety of reasons. For instance, the age of the patient, the condition being treated, the overall health condition, existing health conditions, medications in use, the dosage, schedule and duration of treatment.

Effects when treating overactive bladder

When treating an overactive bladder, the possible outcomes of the neurotoxin include, UTI (urinary tract infection), difficult in urinating fully, and possible pain or discomfort when passing urine.

Effects reported when treating hyperhidrosis

When Botox is administered for hyperhidrosis, the possibility of abnormally high sweating int eh underarms may be experienced. The individual may experience sore throat, apart from symptoms that are similar to that of flu.  This includes, throbbing headache, pain int eh body and fever, apart from feeling chill suddenly. Patients are also likely to contend with pain or bleeding at the site of injection.

Effects experienced when cervical dystonia is treated with botox

Side effects of Botox when used for treating the above condition includes pain and possible discomfort when swallowing food or liquid. Pain in the neck is another possible outcome, apart from cough and upper respiratory tract infections. The individual may experience bouts of headache when treated with Botox.

Effects reported after botox treatment for strabismus and urinary incontinence

Patients are likely to appear sleepy, with drooping eyelids, when Botox is administered for treating crossed eyes, medically known as strabismus. Similarly, when the medication is administered for treating urinary incontinence, effects include possible urinary tract infections.

Other effects linked to the treatment

Various other effects are linked to the neurotoxin and it is necessary to identify the possible symptoms and take suitable remedial measures to mitigate and manage the effects This includes drooping eyelids, and inflammation of the eyes. The eyes may appear dry, and this may have an impact on normal routines and responsibilities. Pain in the limbs (hands and feet) are other possible effects, while children are known to experience infections in the upper respiratory tract.  When the injections are taken on a long-term basis, there is the possibility of pain in the neck and throbbing headaches.

Effects that are a cause for concern

As mentioned above, there are mild effects and effects that are a cause for concern. The latter needs to be quickly treated or diagnosed to prevent complications. For instance, there is the possibility of formation of ulcer on the cornea, wherein a clear covering develops over the cornea. Similarly, vision may be blurred for some individuals while some may have the feeling that an object is still stuck in the eye. Discernible changes include reddish appearance to the eye, apart from possible pain, and eyes that are constantly or abnormally watery in nature. The formation of a white spot on the cornea is also a possible outcome that may be experienced.

Any difficulty in breathing or swallowing that is experienced needs to be checked to prevent any untoward outcomes. The warning on the box of Botox perhaps carries the highest level of warning. The possibility of the effects of Botox injection spreading to other sites, other than the injected area is regarded as a possibly serious effect.

Precautions by individuals with existing conditions

Individuals with certain existing conditions are cautioned to exercise utmost caution, seek specialist advice before taking up Botox treatments. For instance, individuals with neuromuscular disorders may be exposed to elevated risks of side effects from Botox. This incudes condition such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Effects that may be experienced by patients with this condition include possible difficulty in breathing apart from weakness in the muscles.  Individuals with existing UTI, acronym for urinary tract infections are not to continue treatment with Botox, and wait for the infection to be fully resolved before commencing Botox treatment.

As Botox injections are typically administered periodically, it is necessary to ensure that the previous injection site(s) are free from any infection. In the event that any injection site has an infection, it is necessary to wait till it resolves, before taking the next injection. Patients with difficulty in clearing the bladder, are not to take Botox injections for treating urinary incontinence. The exception is for patients with an indwelling catheter that empties the bladder.  Patients planning to undergo any surgeries or patients scheduled to undergo a surgery are also not to rely on Botox injections for treatment. This is because of the possible interactions between medications used in anesthesia and Botox.  Finally, individuals with a history of allergic reactions are also not to take Botox injections. The outcome of allergic reactions may differ, and the intensity may also differ. It is therefore necessary to seek specialist advice on the same. Patients who have had adverse reactions in the past to Botox are to avoid the treatment, as subsequent episodes may sometimes aggravate considerably.

Women planning a pregnancy or pregnant women are to take medical advice before undergoing any treatment that involves Botox. This is because the injection has not undergone any specific tests to determine safety in pregnant women. The effects on the fetus have also not been studied in-depth and this poses an element of risk. While drugs are tested on laboratory animals, and Botox has not been documented to have adverse effects on animals, human studies have not been conducted to confirm the same. It is also not known if Botox secretes into breast milk, with possible complications for the suckling child. It is therefore safe to either temporarily suspend use of Botox or seek medical recommendations.

Drug interactions as side effects of Botox

All medications also come with the possibility of drug interactions. This is due to the conflict in mechanism of action or properties of two or medications, that are taken together for different conditions. Interactions are not restricted to prescription drugs alone, but could also occur between a medication and an OTC formulation. Similarly, herbal products, supplements, certain food products, alcohol and other intoxicants apart from alternative medicines may also interact with prescription drugs. The outcome of these interactions may be an increase in the efficacy of either of the two medications, beyond the desired outcomes. It could also trigger a reduction in the outcomes of either of the two medications. The third possible outcome could be aggravation of side effects of either or both the medications.

Specialists typically discontinue or temporarily suspend either of the two products, continuing treatment with the product that is most important. In the event that both the products are equally important, the dosage and schedule are altered in such a manner so as to reduce the severity of the interactions. Products that my interact with Botox include gentamycin, and polymyxin, apart from medications of anticoagulant category. Other medications that could interact include medications for Alzheimer’s, and certain drugs used in the treatment of autoimmune, neuromuscular diseases.

What happens when Botox treatment is discontinued?

The likelihood of individuals experiencing side effects after discontinuing Botox is rare. However, there is a possibility of the symptoms re-developing again. Botox delivers temporary results, and when the treatment stops, the symptoms could re-appear. This could be an issue for individuals using Botox for cosmetic reasons. The relatively lesser number of wrinkles will suddenly, over a period of three months be replaced with all the wrinkles that were present earlier, and the individual may appear to have aged suddenly.

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