At this point, it is safe to say that we are all quite familiar with BOTOX® in Colleyville, Fort Worth, and across the United States. Its key ingredient, botulinum toxin type A, can work wonders in improving crow's feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles.
In the last decade or so, other companies besides Allergan (the manufacturer of BOTOX®) have introduced their own versions of the de-wrinkling neurotoxin. In April 2009, Galderma received FDA approval for its own botulinum toxin type A product, known as Dysport®. While this injectable treatment is relatively new here in the United States, it has been used in Europe for several years.
Dr. Peter Damico is passionate about providing continuous education to the public, and details the similarities and differences between the two products.
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At their core, BOTOX® and Dysport® are very similar products. Both make use of the same neurotoxin as their active ingredient, which means they both work based on the same principle - to block the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to prevent injected muscles from contracting and forming wrinkles.
Both BOTOX® and Dysport® have received FDA approval, and have been in use for decades, although BOTOX has been used in the United States for a longer period. The two injectable treatments have a proven track record of safety. Both have similar side effects, which tend to be mild, injection-related, and temporary.
In most double-blind clinical trials, both patients and doctors were unable to markedly distinguish between the results of the two. BOTOX® may last slightly longer due to a higher potency, but more research will be required to make a concrete assessment. Overall, both will need to be re-injected every three to six months to maintain their effects.
Due to its smaller molecules, Dysport® has a slightly quicker onset than BOTOX® (two to five days vs. four to seven days respectively), and diffuses to cover a wider area. This can be a benefit or a drawback, depending on the size of the area being treated. For example, it may be beneficial for an expanse of frown lines across the forehead, but not necessarily so for crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes.
BOTOX® has a higher potency (i.e. lower dilution), which means the two products cannot be compared based on the number of units used. While the price per unit of BOTOX® may be more expensive in some clinics, fewer number of units may be required for a patient - in simple terms, this means that the cost could even out, depending on whichever product and dosage the patient and injector use.
The final decision on which product will be used depends on the unique concerns of the patient, and the preference of the injector. There are times where some injectors may use calculated amounts of both products during the same treatment session to maximize the results. But Dr. Damico does not recommend this approach, as mixing two products that vary in both the diameter covered and time taken to show effects can make the results more unpredictable, and may even require correction later.
Ultimately, however, it is important to stress that the skill and experience of the injector are far more crucial to the results than the formulation of the product. A talented injector will be able to carefully target the best injection sites, how much product should be used, and administer the product correctly.