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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Anna Bligh's Botox use 'no big deal' ...

See - ABC News - Bligh's Botox use 'no big deal'.


Anonymous Botox Watch said...

The Pros and Cons of BOTOX®

Just because the FDA has approved the anti-wrinkle shots doesn't mean that they're for you

Are you sufficiently bothered by wrinkles to stick needles into your face? That's the question millions of Americans will be asking themselves once the BOTOX® craze starts in earnest.

BOTOX® injections, as you may have heard, are the biggest thing since nose jobs. They are already the most popular cosmetic procedure in the U.S.; about 1.6 million Americans got the shots last year--a so-called off-label use of a drug originally approved to calm twitchy eye muscles. The fact that the shots reduce wrinkles too was an unanticipated bonus; doctors were allowed to use BOTOX® for that purpose, but the manufacturer, Allergan, couldn't advertise it to the public.

Now the company can, thanks to the FDA's decision last week to approve BOTOX® for the removal of certain wrinkles. Once the ads start, clinics will be inundated by women--and men--yearning to be wrinkle free. Before you schedule an appointment, though, you should know what Botox can and can't do, and what the downside might be. Here are the pros and cons of BOTOX®.

BOTOX® is short for "botulinum toxin," the substance that causes botulism, a sometimes fatal form of food poisoning. It sounds scarier than it is; in small quantities, BOTOX® merely interrupts nerve impulses to muscles in the face. The lines that furrow the forehead when you raise your eyebrows, the crow's feet that appear when you squint and the creases between the eyebrows when you frown are all caused by tension in underlying muscles, which contract and squeeze the skin like an accordion. BOTOX® keeps this from happening.

Fortunately, BOTOX® is so diluted that serious side effects like allergic reactions are rare. If the doctor slips, in most cases the worst that can happen is that you will lose the ability to raise your eyelids all the way; or, if you're getting shots around the mouth, a mistake could leave you drooling. But even a perfectly executed procedure has consequences. Depending on which wrinkles you go after, you might not be able to frown or raise your eyebrows or squint.

Is this a problem? After going over the pros and cons of BOTOX®, it's usually not enough to discourage BOTOX® enthusiasts. In Hollywood, however, the treatments are so popular that some directors complain that their leading actors can no longer convincingly perform a full range of facial expressions. The good news is that even if there's a little accident, BOTOX® wears off after a while (which also means you have to go back every six months, at up to $500 per treatment). Slipups are pretty rare, however, as long as you go to someone who knows what he or she is doing.

That includes knowing when BOTOX® won't be useful at all. Muscles cause some wrinkles, but many result simply from the loss of elasticity that goes naturally with aging (or, less naturally, with smoking and sun exposure), causing the skin to sag and crumple. There are treatments for this sort of wrinkle, but BOTOX® isn't one of them, says Dr. David L. Feldman, director of plastic surgery at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "I had a patient recently who came in asking for BOTOX®," he says. "It would have done no good at all. In fact, she might have ended up looking worse."

So BOTOX® isn't a cure-all, and it has some pretty odd side effects. But if you don't mind getting shot up with poison and you don't mind paralyzing parts of your face--well, you've got plenty of company.

3:27 PM, December 17, 2008

Anonymous news watch said...

The Age:

Warning over Botox side-effects

September 1, 2008

Months after US authorities sounded the alarm, European officials are warning of dangerous possible side-effects from the wrinkle-smoothing injection Botox, according to a German news report.

The London-based European Medicines Agency had by August 2007 recorded more than 600 cases of negative effects potentially linked to the popular cosmetic treatment, Focus news weekly reported in its issue to be released tomorrow.

In 28 cases Botox users died.

In Germany the Federal Institute for Medication and Medical Products has received 210 reports with a suspected link to Botox, which is used by millions around the world to iron out wrinkles. Five cases were lethal, Focus said.

Botulinum toxins including Botox are approved in many countries, including Australia, to treat a variety of conditions including spasms of the eyelids or neck, the easing of facial lines or excessive sweating.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in February that using Botox can have serious side-effects including death, but stopped short of banning them.

It stressed at the time that no patients who had used Botox for cosmetic purposes were among the fatalities, but urged vigilance.

The botulinum toxin is a natural poison found in decomposing food that is 40 million times more powerful than cyanide.

When injected, tiny doses paralyse a muscle and prevent it from contracting for between four and six months - ideal for temporarily eliminating worry lines but potentially deadly if it affects the wrong muscles, authorities said.

Botox and Botox Cosmetic warn on their labels of the possibility of adverse reactions near the site of the injection for each product's approved uses, according to the FDA, and of "the rare potential of distant side effects" including severe difficulty swallowing and breathing when the products are used on patients with neuromuscular disorders.

3:31 PM, December 17, 2008


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