Truth about topical botox and botox treatments in Calgary, Edmonton and Alberta.

The Truth about Topical Botox®

Truth about topical botox and botox treatments in Calgary, Edmonton and Alberta.

Whether we choose to accept them or not, wrinkles and lines are an inevitable feature as we get older. This is a common concern for men as well as women. We can either choose to accept them or find some way to do something about them. Many people have looked to Botox® treatments for this purpose as this drug has proven to be one of the most effective in altering the effects of wrinkles, crow’s feet and fine lines.

This particular drug is derived from a purified form of Botulin Toxin A. It is administered by a certified doctor or plastic surgeon by way of injections. Needles are inserted at the exact site or close to areas where wrinkles are prevalent. The chemical works by blocking the nerves that contract muscles, thereby softening the appearance of wrinkles. The effects become evident after 3 to 5 days and will last between 3 and 6 months. This means that follow-up treatments are necessary. The good news is that the more Botox® treatments you undergo, the less evident wrinkles will appear as the particular muscles become more or less tense.

Contrary to popular belief, skin tightening treatments are not only used by models and other celebrities. It is common among middle aged working women who want to look refreshed and less stressed. There is also a significant percentage of professional men in their twenties to middle years who also want to appear energetic and for those who are older, more youthful.

The popularity of Botox® treatments is limited only by the common fear held by many of needles. Many of us cringe and become squeamish at the idea of being pricked and at the temporary redness and soreness that follows. Topical alternatives to Botox® treatments are being developed more now than before; and these are producing results that are just as effective.

Topical anti-wrinkle treatments such as RT001 by Revance Therapuetics and Pretox Infin 8 are building anticipation in the market of anti-wrinkle treatments. RT001 is Botox® in cream form that is applied directly to the skin. It is absorbed quickly and then directly targets the over worked muscles which cause wrinkles. This results in a smoother look. This particular drug is just moments away from FDA approval in the United States and is in the final stages of clinical trials in Canada. It was successful in removing crow’s feet with no harmful side effects.

Pretox Infin 8 focuses on reducing the depth of wrinkles and frown lines up to 50%, especially targeting those lines in the forehead and at corners of the eyes. It restores elasticity and collagen, thus having a moisturizing and nourishing effect on skin as well. An immediate tightening effect will be felt upon application but more precise effects will become evident in 6 to 12 weeks.

Topical treatments have several advantages. They are being developed with lowered risk of side effects for the overall safety of users. They can target areas that physicians and plastic surgeons may find it difficult to treat with injections. They are actually best suited for use on the delicate and fairly thinner skin around the eyes and on the forehead. Applications are simple and painless. Usage will become more popular as now an individual can conduct treatments at home without the need to go in for an appointment. They leave a more natural expression and more consistent results. Although cited as alternatives to Botox® injections, topical products can be used as a supplement to injection treatments.

Botox and its Benefits

Botulinum Toxin (Botox®) and its Benefits

Botox and its Benefits

Botox® is a purified protein made by Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium. Botox® is usually injected in tiny amounts and is used in treating muscle spasms and relaxing facial muscles so as to reduce wrinkles. In the recent past, many doctors have discovered many other alternative uses of Botox®. Muscle spasms are treated by injecting the neurotoxin into the muscles where it stiffens and restricts the muscles. The most common use of Botox® is alleviating wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead areas. But is Botox® just for wrinkles? The answer is No. Other alternative uses of Botox® have been discovered recently and are discussed below.

Alternative uses of Botox®

Relieving Migraines

This is one of the very few uses of Botox® that have been approved by the Federal Drug Agency (FDA). The research to establish the exact function of Botox® in relieving migraines is still being done. However, there exists a theory suggesting that Botox® prevents the nerve endings from sending pain signals to the brain so the migraine will not be felt.

Uncontrolled Blinking

Botox® was initially designed for curing crossed eyes and also the inability to control blinking. This drug was designed to act on the muscles that caused spasm crossing of the eyes by weakening the muscles. A number of patients who had eye conditions treated with Botox® also noticed the wrinkles around their eyes were disappearing. This was the beginning of using Botox® as treatment for wrinkles.

Excessive Sweating

The reduction of sweating is the second most popular use of this drug after wrinkle reduction. Botox® has been found to reduce sweat gland stimulation. These glands are located under the arms and on the palms. Other treatments failed prior to the use of Botox® which after injection in the right areas, it inhibited sweating. This treatment is beneficial for people who have hyperhidrosis.

Neck Muscle Spasms

The uncontrollable movements of muscles have been found to result from the platysma bands which are vertical bands located in the neck region. The discomfort they cause, usually spasms, and the platysma bands appearance have been improved by using Botox® and physical therapy.

Calming enlarged prostate

Initially Botox® was believed to be a product for women only. This was however proved wrong when Botox® was found to have the ability to treat enlarged prostates by relaxing the muscles. This has been of great help to many men in their early twenties who are sexually active. The drug is usually injected into the prostate thus relaxing muscles surrounding thus alleviating pressure mounted on the urethra and the irritation.

Controlling overactive muscles

Botox® has also been found to relax overactive bladders which occur due to muscles contracting frequently. The drug relaxes urinary muscles so that the feeling of constantly urinating is not there any more. Muscle spasms can be very painful, therefore Botox® is of great help to patients with this disorder.

A number of medical practitioners in Calgary, Alberta, Canada have found Botox® to be safe enough and can be used to treat many physical anomalies. However, it is important to take note that Botox® does not cure. It usually provides a temporary solution for the problem and in case a patient needs a long-term type of treatment, consulting a doctor would be the best thing to do.

Is Botox Right for You?

Is Botox® Right for You?

Is Botox Right for You?

In the past, men did not really use cosmetics to improve their appearance but this has become very normal in today’s world. There are so many products that are used by men, mostly 20 years and over as this is when the need for the cosmetic products arises. Over time, men develop crease lines or wrinkles on their face quite readily and these create the demand for the cosmetic products. The most common are horizontal wrinkles that develop on the forehead. There are several ways of getting rid of them but the most common method in Calgary, Alberta, Canada happens to be the use of Botox®.

What is Botox®?

This is a neurotoxin that is liquid in nature and is used to treat a majority of wrinkles in the face. It is administered by injection directly on the area where the wrinkles are. Once injected, Botox® relaxes the muscles and this has the effect of making the crease lines less visible. Botox® was approved by the FDA back in 2002 and since then, it has been used by many people on a global scale to attain a more appeasing and attractive youth look.

Once the Botox® has been injected into the facial muscles, it remains concentrated on those muscles alone meaning that it does not spread to other parts of the body. It has a unique way of working as it remains within the muscles for about six to seven months after the date of injection. This in turn means that one does not have to inject the Botox® again until this time has passed and the wrinkles have started appearing again. This is why most men that are above twenty years of age find it convenient for use.

How else is Botox® useful?

This product has a wide range of uses other than getting rid of frown lines that form on the forehead. In some cases, there are lines that are formed around a person’s eyes, called crow’s feet, and they are also eliminated by use of Botox®. In this case, it is injected just below the eyes where the lines are. There have also been documented cases of individual who formed lines on their necks and used Botox® to eliminate them.

What assurances does Botox® give?

A youthful look attracts so much attention and this is why many men that are approaching the thirty year bracket run to Botox®. They had been used to having smooth faces without crease lines, wrinkles and squint lines but as they get older, all these lines and even more develop. A visit to their doctors brings hope as the doctor assures them that Botox® will get the job done without much of a hustle.

True to the doctor’s word, once the injection is made and the facial muscles relax, the patient almost forgets their true age as they appear younger and more youthful. The fact the Botox® is easy to administer, last for a number of months while in active condition and is approved by the FDA gives a person all the assurance needed that it is a good product, especially for men above the age of twenty.

When is it time for Botox treatments?

When is it Time for Botox®?

When is it time for Botox treatments?

Men and women have been fighting signs of ageing for decades, and medical advances have begun to give us the tools necessary to successfully battle the signs. The question that many men and women in their twenties and up often have though is, when is it time for Botox®?

Botox® has been adopted by men and women as a powerful tool to help fight signs of aging, especially wrinkles.

The most important thing to remember when you are thinking about Botox® though is the fact that you are never too young to start utilizing the product. There are many men and women in big cities all across the world, from Los Angeles, California to Calgary, Alberta developing signs of ageing at much younger ages. The problem is that many of them do not realize that the time to start preventing ageing; is sooner rather than later.

Young men and women in their 20’s, and in some cases even younger, are developing common ageing signs which Botox® can help both prevent, and eliminate. These signs include visible wrinkle lines that appear on your forehead, between the brows of your eyes, and around the rest of your face. An experienced dermatologist, no matter how young or old you are, can assist you with Botox® and help take away your ageing wrinkles before they get worse.

If you are a young man or woman, you also should truly take into account the genetics that you have, by looking at both your father as well as your mother. If you have parents that are showing signs of wrinkles in in their thirties, then you can also use Botox® as a preventative measure to start to battle ageing before it really kicks into gear. Your genes can really dictate how you will age over time, just as they are used to help predict diseases later in life. This is why experts are beginning to recommend Botox® earlier on in your life.

Preventative Botox® is starting to become quite popular all across the world for both men and women, who are realizing that it is easier to prevent ageing before it happens, rather than to try and reverse it after the negative effects can already been seen. Preventative Botox® means that you begin to get the treatments prior to starting to show wrinkles all over your face. This may seem to go against the grain, but the thought process behind it makes sense. You can keep your face looking consistently young, without developing the wrinkles first, only to try and get rid of them later.

Everyone wants to feel vibrant and young, and self-confidence is a major part of that. When you get up in the morning and you look in the mirror, the face that stares back should be one that you are proud of, and one that gives you positive self-esteem to face anything. So the next time you ask, when is it time for Botox®? Remember that no matter how old or young you are, you can use this great tool to both prevent, and reverse visible signs of ageing, to feel better about yourself.

Botox for Men in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer.

Skin Care Essentials: Botox® for Men

Botox for Men in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer.

In the twentieth century, application of botulinum toxin, also known as Botox®, have been rampant particularly among celebrities and to those who were able to afford this particular type of treatment early on. These days, men in their twenties and above have learned to benefit from a Botox®  treatment just as their female counterparts have done for decades. With the advancement of technology these days, looking young is as easy as 1 2 3 for either sexes.

What is Botox®?

Technically, Botox® is a drug that can block the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine resulting in interference of muscle contraction. Medically proven, it is also used in treating severe muscle spasms or severe, uncontrollable sweating but for others, its main purpose is for cosmetics.

How to Apply Botox®? How Long Will It Take Effect?

Only little amount is injected into the area of the face to stop the contraction of muscles, soften the frown lines temporarily and block your nerve impulses. This is a fast treatment that will only take 15 minutes and you will see results within a week that could last for up to 4 to 6 months.

Botox® Treatment for Men?

Many women have been undergoing Botox® since they are held to have a higher-aging standard but just recently, Botox® for men boosted its rate 258 percent from the past decade. Why? Male patients are much more concerned with regards to their appearance lately. This is due to the fast changing economy. More men engage in Botox® treatment because it helps them become more appealing to the media and gain more advertisements. Have you ever wondered who among your favorite male celebrity had already undergone Botox®?

Advantages of Botox® Treatment

Men in the twenties are more engaged in having Botox® and other cosmetic treatment and it increases yearly. Studies show that men also turned into cosmetics because they could make them feel young and healthy, too.

Here’s a list of the benefits of Botox® Treatments:

  • It can help in preventing headaches and migraines
  • It corrects eye conditions such as; strabismus (cross-eyes); diploma (blurred vision); and blepharospasm (eyelid spasms)
  • Injecting Botox® in the bladder can help it to increase in volume thereby reducing incontinence.
  • It is also good for people who are suffering from excessive sweating.
  • Its effects can lift your mood. That’s why undergoing Botox® makes a person not only look good but happy as well.
  • It can help fight allergies.
  • It can prevent or diminish scars.

With these benefits, men from around the world and in Canada are attracted to this treatment. In addition, Botox® use by men is skyrocketing annually and this only proves that cosmetics are not only for women but also for men. So, if you fear that you will be judged because of being vain, then don’t. Men have all the same reasons to improve their appearance as women do.

Xeomin® Vs. Botox®: Merz Aesthetics Announces Primary Endpoint Met

March 19, 2015

Merz Aesthetics Announces Primary Endpoint Met in Post-Market Clinical Study of Xeomin® Vs. Botox® for Glabellar Facial Lines

Merz Aesthetics, a division of Merz North America (US affiliate of the global Merz Pharma Group), today announced positive results from a post-market, parallel group clinical trial designed to evaluate the efficacy of Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) in the treatment of moderate to severe glabellar facial lines, when compared to Botox® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA).

“We are pleased that data from our most recent post-market study further demonstrates the efficacy of Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA),” stated Jim Hartman, Vice President and Head of U.S. Aesthetics/OTC for Merz North America. “Merz remains dedicated to providing our physician partners with clinical data that they need to choose and apply the treatment options that result in desired outcomes for their patients.”

Results show that this trial met its primary efficacy endpoint, defined as ≥ 1-point improvement from baseline on the Facial Wrinkle Scale (FWS) at maximum frown, 1 month after a single treatment. Similar efficacy profiles were demonstrated between the two treatment groups at all timepoints (1, 2, 3 and 4 months post-treatment). The most common adverse events seen in both treatment groups were headache, infection and facial asymmetry.

“The results of this clinical trial offer evidence that there are multiple effective options for injectors and patients seeking a neurotoxin for aesthetic use,” said Dr. Fredric Brandt, MD, co-lead investigator and board-certified dermatologist with private practices in Manhattan and Miami. As one of the world’s foremost leaders in injectables, Dr. Brandt has spent years developing innovative methods, new injection techniques and novel uses and benefits that have gained him a reputation as a pioneer within the skincare industry.

Botulinum toxin type A is a well-established treatment for glabellar frown lines. In 2011, Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) was approved by the FDA for improvement in the appearance of moderate-to-severe glabellar frown lines with a recommended dosage of 20 units (U). Head-to-head comparison studies conducted worldwide have demonstrated that Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) and Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) result in comparable safety and efficacy for both cosmetic use and therapeutic uses, including blepharospasm and cervical dystonia1.

“This data is consistent with previously published head-to-head comparison studies and demonstrates that Xeomin®(incobotulinumtoxinA) and Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) result in similar efficacy and safety profiles for the treatment of glabellar facial lines,” stated Dr. Michael Kane, MD, co-lead investigator on the study. A board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Manhattan, Dr. Kane frequently lectures on topics relating to aesthetic plastic surgery and has published hundreds of papers throughout his career.

“Given the fact that this is the first large, multicenter, parallel-group study to investigate the comparable efficacy of Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) to Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) in the treatment of glabellar frown lines, these study results have meaningful implications for patients and physicians alike,“ stated Dr. Michael Gold, MD, FAAD. Dr. Gold was one of the study’s key investigators, enrolling and following the largest group of patients throughout the trial. In addition to his work as a board-certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Gold also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He plays an integral role in the development of new pharmaceutical products and medical devices through his clinical research, and presents regularly at national and international dermatology and cosmetic meetings.

Complete analysis of the data from this clinical trial is in progress, and Merz Aesthetics looks forward to presenting study results at an upcoming scientific conference, as well as to submitting data to a peer reviewed journal.

Mariana Smith, Business Wire

Botox and Sunglasses Combat Squinting

June 30, 2015

With the start of the summer season, most Floridians are planning to be outside significantly more than they were in the winter and spring. What comes along with the sunshine of the beach, barbecues and afternoons at the ball field? Squinting.

So what. Why is squinting a big issue?

Squinting is a physiologic reflex to bright environments that decreases the size of the opening of the eyelid in order to allow less light to reach the eye. Let’s examine exactly what happens during a squint. Three important facial muscle groups contract. This creates radial wrinkling of the skin and soft tissue around the eye. People will commonly call these by the nickname “crow’s feet,” or “smile lines.” The space between the eyes is narrowed creating both vertical wrinkles many call “11 lines” or “frown lines” as well as one or more horizontal lines at the top of the nose. Besides the extra wrinkles it creates, the act of squinting also lowers the position of the eyebrow.

So what does all this mean?

Over time, the pattern of repeated squinting can result in an increased number and increased depth of wrinkles between the eyes and to the sides of the eyes. This is simply the effect of creasing the skin over and over, similar to what one sees when they fold a sheet of paper in the same place many times. Squinting also encourages a lower brow position.

Of course, the sun can’t take all the blame. As we age, the skin gets progressively thinner, and changes in vision, such as need for reading glasses, can be responsible for many of the squints performed throughout the day even if one is not out in the sun.

Unfortunately, squinting from the sun is a double whammy, as it has been scientifically proven that harmful UV rays independently cause the skin to become even thinner and less elastic, in addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer.Folding skin that is thinner with less ability to stretch will result in deeper, more etched in creases over time. By now, everyone knows that sunscreen will help protect against thinning of the skin, but it doesn’t keep us from squinting. Even after applying sun protection, younger patients may notice that they get specific patterns of tan lines where they have been over using the muscles around the eyes while out in the sun.

So, does Botox® help with squinting?

Yes. Botox® helps to decrease squinting. Botox® treatments by your doctor involve placing small amounts of medicine into specific areas of these key muscles to strategically weaken the contraction in a favorable manner. This requires precision and skill to positively affect both the aesthetics and the function of the muscles around the eye. The benefit is that it significantly reverses these signs of aging. Numerous studies have proven Botox® can decrease the depth and number of wrinkles around the eyes, as well as can slightly raise the position of the brow. It can slightly open or widen the space between the eyes to give a more youthful or rested appearance.

Does that mean that if I get Botox® I shouldn’t wear sunglasses?

No way. Sunglasses are important too, as they protect the actual globe from harmful UV rays. This can potentially lower the chance of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye diseases whose risk specifically increases with increased exposure.

If you have tried Botox® in the past, but didn’t like it, or didn’t see a difference, ask about other FDA approved neuromodulator medications that may work better for you, called Xeomin® and Dysport®.

Dr. Scott Asher, Tallahassee Democrat

Botox Provides Relief for Sufferers of Hyperhidrosis

May 1, 2015

Some people go through life trying to keep their head down so they don’t draw too much attention to themselves — but not Janene Vermeire. She went through much of her adult life trying to keep her arms down.

Vermeire suffered from a medical condition called hyperhidrosis — excessive sweating — in her armpit area. Unfortunately, as a flight attendant for almost 15 years, she found keeping her arms down to hide the sweat marks almost impossible.

“I have 135 people’s eyes on me every time I fly somewhere and they would see my sweating — and that was huge,” says the 32-year-old Calgary mom. To hide her problem, she’d wear sweaters, which would only make her perspire more.

“It was just embarrassing, and it’s something that I was self-conscious about all day, every day,” she says. “I wouldn’t have to be doing any physical activity. I would just sweat.”

Vermeire tried many different treatments, including antiperspirants prescribed by her doctor, but nothing worked. That is until she tried an increasingly popular procedure often associated with cosmetic medicine: Botox.

Derived from the potentially deadly bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, Botox has been widely and safely used for decades for a variety of medical conditions, including treating chronic migraines. Most people are familiar with its cosmetic use to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

But few know about its effectiveness in treating hyperhidrosis, says Dr. Wendy Tink, clinical assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s faculty of medicine.

“Sweating is a normal function of the body — it helps cool us down,” says the family doctor. But about two to three per cent of the population suffer from hyperhidrosis and sweat excessively in certain areas, often the armpits, palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

“There is nothing wrong with their sweat glands,” she says. Instead, it’s the signals from their brain that are causing their sweat glands to overreact to normal situations.

“It can be a vicious circle,” she says. “You worry it’s going to get worse and then that gives them another reason for sweating.”

Approved more than a decade ago by Health Canada, Botox has been revolutionary for many people suffering from hyperhidrosis. It works by blocking the signals from the nerve endings to the sweat glands so the glands are no longer activated, Tink says.

While it can be used in other areas, most patients are treated for hyperhidrosis in the armpits because injections to the hands and feet are often intolerably painful, she adds.

“There are about 25 injections per armpit, so it can be a bit uncomfortable, too,” she says. Costing about $1,000 for both armpits, the effect begins about a week after treatment and lasts between six months and year.

“A lot of insurance companies are covering the cost for patients because it’s seen to be a medical problem and not just a cosmetic issue,” Undseth says.

Medical insurance through Vermeire’s employer covered most of the cost of her treatments. Since receiving her first injections three years ago, she’s gone back for repeat injections about once a year.

And while people with hyperhidrosis often suffer in silence, trying to hide their condition, Vermeire has no qualms about letting people know now.

“It’s funny because most people are embarrassed about this kind of condition, but I tell everybody about it because it’s something I wish I had known about years ago,” she says. “It’s changed my life.”

Joel Schlesinger, Calgary Herald

Botox Injections As Wrinkle Treatment

June 3, 2015

Heat Maps Show Efficacy Of Toxin Via 3D Imaging Technique

The desire to remain forever young leads people to splurge on the latest serums, creams, lotions, and cosmetic procedures that hold the hope of eliminating the visible signs of aging. These products claim to outsmart aging by targeting wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin tone, but do they really work? In a recent study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, heat maps revealed Botox has both significant cosmetic and psychological effects on patients.

In the U.S., women continue to be the driving force for facial plastic surgery, making up 82 percent of all surgical and non-surgical procedures, according to the 2014 AAFPRS Statistics on Trends in Facial Plastic Surgery Report. Botox injections are among the most common non-surgical procedures along with hyaluronic acid fillers, non-ablative skin resurfacing and peels, and microdermabrasion treatments. The procedure is mostly performed on women between the ages of 35 and 55.

The effectiveness of Botox lies in its highly purified toxin bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can temporarily erase or reduce horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines, and crow’s feet. The injection works by slowing muscles that contract hundreds of times a day and smoothing out lines. The results vary from patient to patient, but they typically last three and a half to four months.

To evaluate the efficacy of Botox, a team of researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania were able to create a color-coded heat map via the 3D speckle tracking photogrammetry. This technique helps researchers measure dynamic facial wrinkles and their subsequent reduction following injection. In the study, a total of 14 participants were observed before and two weeks after a Botox application of 20 units of filler in the area between the brows.

The researchers randomly applied white foundation and black speckle makeup. In the pre-treatment heat map, light blue represented wrinkles. Two weeks after treatment, the light blue was largely replaced with light green and yellow. These new colors are representative of the decreased skin compression or wrinkling. Alongside the color changes, the system allowed the precise measurement of wrinkle reduction to signal improvement.

For example, horizontal wrinkling in the treated area decreased from 9.11 percent to 2.60 percent and from 4.83 percent to 0.83 percent in the forehead following injection. The vertical stretch in the forehead decreased from 6.73 percent to 1.67 percent. The average vertical stretch of the area during brow furrowing dropped from 2.51 percent to 1.15 percent.

The heat maps show the effectiveness of Botox in reducing wrinkles, which is extremely useful for improving cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. “As new therapies and expanded applications become available for antiaging and the treatment of neuromuscular disorders, this method may make it possible to quantify clinical efficacy and establish precise therapeutic regimens,” said senior author Ivona Percec, director of basic science research and associate director of cosmetic surgery in the division of plastic surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in the news release.

Future studies will still need to explore the use of digital image correlation in larger groups. This will help physicians objectively analyze wrinkle reduction and other components of Botox, such as optimal dosage to obtain the best aesthetic benefit. Currently, static photographs and subjective visual assessments are used to measure wrinkle reduction, which are prone to errors.

This innovative technique will help assess the clinical efficacy and help solidify accurate therapeutic regimens as new therapies and applications for antiaging treatments and neuromuscular disorders become available.

Lizette Borelli, Medical Daily

Botox May Treat Peripheral Neuropathy In Cancer Patients

June 9, 2015

Neuropathy, a type of pain caused by nerve damage, is not a uniform condition but instead may appear in different forms. Botox might offer effective relief for two forms of neuropathy, a new animal study finds. In fact, botulinum toxin produced a lasting reduction of pain in mice suffering from either physical or chemotherapy-related nerve injury.

Cancer patients often experience a pain known as chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The peripheral nerves carry sensations (feeling) to the brain and control the movement of our arms and legs. They also control the bladder and bowel. The chemotherapy drugs cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin, though, may damage these nerves. Symptoms may include either shooting pain or a loss of feeling in the hands and feet. Sometimes what should be cold to the touch will cause a burning sensation instead.

For many cancer patients, the symptoms disappear over time. Others, unfortunately, are not so lucky. Past research has shown Botox can treat some forms of chronic pain… could it work on neuropathy?

Medical Use

In an examination of Botox B’s effects on neuropathy, Dr. Tony L. Yaksh, an anesthesiology professor at UC San Diego, and his colleagues specifically investigated the effects of local versus spinal injection of botulinum toxin B (Botox B or Myobloc). Botox-B has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical uses, though not for cosmetic purposes. Because it causes temporary muscle paralysis, botulinum toxin’s pain-reducing effects, scientists say, may derive from simple muscle relaxation. However, other scientists suggest Botox supplies analgesic effects. What’s the truth?

To begin the current study, the research team induced mononeuropathy (single nerve injury) in one group of mice by cutting a single spinal nerve and then induced polyneuropathy (multiple nerve injury) by giving another group of mice the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. Then, the scientists injected Botox-B, locally and into the spine. Before and after, they measured pain and motor function in the mice.

In mononeuropathy, injecting Botox-B locally — directly into the affected paw — significantly reduced pain. In polyneuropathy, the local Botox-B injection reduced pain in the injected paw only. (This shows the effects of locally injected botulinum toxin are not due to a general spread of Botox-B through the body.) The pain reduction after local injection wore off after two weeks or so.

For polneuropathy, the spinal injection of Botox-B relieved pain in all paws. The spinal injection did not alter normal reflexes, yet it also did not alter other types of pain.

Looking at the cells of these mice showed the researchers that the two types of injections had differing effects in the pain-processing centers of the spinal cord. The researchers say their findings add to previous studies suggesting that botulinum toxin could be a useful new approach to treating neuropathy. Plus, this study adds to the understanding of the differing effects of local and spinal injections.

Susan Scutti, Medical Daily