Potential Side Effects of Botox
Botox is a highly effective and generally safe injectable substance that is used in the successful treatment of a variety of conditions, from chronic migraines to cervical dystonia, conditions of eye such as a misalignment of the eyeballs (strabismus) or recurring spasms of the eyelids (blepharospasm) and a wide range of others; Botox is also the most popular and widely used cosmetic procedure on a global level, with over 6 million injections per year administered in order to combat the effects of aging.
Botox is derived from the neurotoxin botulin, and acts as a powerful paralysing agent within the muscles at the site of treatment, rendering them temporarily paralysed; while the drug is considered quite safe when used properly, botulin is known as one of the most toxic and life-threatening substances known to mankind, which makes the correct dosing absolutely essential for patient safety.
With this in mind, Botox must always be used by a qualified medical professional who is aware of the proper dosage and the correct techniques for the condition you are being treated for; in some cases, in order to enhance the effects of Botox, the botulinum toxin may be used in conjunction with certain other drugs that also have an effect on neuromuscular function.
Botox Side Effects
Side effects of Botox are generally very rare, yet they can occur in some people; the most common adverse effects that have been reported are:
- Allergic reaction
- Rash or itching at the site of injection
- Neck Pain
- Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and weakness
- Pain or tenderness in the affected area
When used for eye-related conditions such as blepharospasm, patients may experience dryness of the eyes, double vision, drooping of the eyelids, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), and sensitivity to light or tearing.
In most cases, side effects are not serious and will abate with the passing of time, generally a few days at most; however in some cases the botulinum toxin may spread to other body parts, a situation which may be dire and which will require immediate treatment.
The following symptoms should be reported to your physician immediately:
- Difficulty talking or hoarseness of the voice
- Severe difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Weakness of the muscles, particularly in an area not located near the injection site
- Vision problems
- Unusual heartbeats, whether too fast or too slow
- Loss of normal bladder function
- Severe hives or itching
- Chest pain or a general feeling of ill-health
Side effects which are less serious but which should still be reported to your doctor:
- Weakness in the muscles around the injection site
- Severe headache, neck or back pain
- Muscle stiffness
- Fever, sore throat, flu-like symptoms
- Drowsiness or exhaustion
- Nausea, diarrhea, sore stomach or poor appetite
- Dry eyes or mouth, tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Increased perspiration
- Itching, watery eyes
- Swelling or bruising of the eyelids
- Increased sensitivity to light
Some of these effects can occur up to several weeks after treatment, and should therefore be monitored carefully and reported straight away should symptoms occur.
While cases of allergic reaction are extremely rare, they can occur and should be treated immediately; if you experience symptoms such as rash, swelling and/or extreme itching, particularly in the face, tongue and/or throat area, severe dizziness or difficulty breathing, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction and should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Reactions and side effects of this nature are extremely rare, yet they have been known to occur on occasion; regardless of your side effects, always be sure to remain in close contact with your doctor following your procedure in regard to any questions are concerns; Botox is a highly effective treatment for a number of conditions and generally thought of as quite safe, but where your health is concerned it’s always best to err on the side of caution.