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Botulinum Treatment (Botox®)

You may know botulinum toxin by its more common brand name: Botox®. It’s a toxin doctors use in cosmetic medicine and other therapies. At Baystate Health, our doctors use it to treat neurological disorders (problems of the brain, spinal cord or nerves).

Talk to your doctor to find out if this treatment can relieve your symptoms.

How Botulinum Toxin Treatment Works

Therapeutic botulinum toxin treatment works through chemodenervation. This process blocks nerve signals your brain sends to your muscles. The toxin may help when you have muscle spasms other medications or treatments can’t control.

Your doctor will inject a small amount of the toxin into the affected area. It will temporarily weaken the muscles and reduce their excessive activity.

Most people feel the effects within five to seven days of the treatment. Relief usually lasts three to four months before it’s time for another treatment.

Conditions That May Benefit from Botulinum Toxin Treatment

Several neurological conditions respond to botulinum toxin therapy, including:

Possible Side Effects of Botulinum Toxin Treatment

Botulinum toxin therapy is safe as long as you see a qualified physician. Some side effects are common, but mild:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Soreness, redness, or bruising at your injection site
  • Temporary muscle weakness at your injection site
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelid) if used to treat blepharospasm (an involuntary tight closure of your eyelids)
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

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