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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Botulinum Toxin Type A (Injection)

Botulinum Toxin Type A (Injection)

Botulinum Toxin Type A (BOT-yoo-li-num TOX-in type A)

Treats uncontrollable muscle movements or paralysis in the neck (cervical dystonia), eyelids (blepharospasm), or around the eyes (strabismus). Also used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles between the eyebrows.

Brand Name(s):

Botox, Botox Cosmetic
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to botulinum toxin, or if you have an infection where the shot will be given.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle around your eye or neck, or along your eyebrow.
  • You may be given medicine to numb the area where the shot will be injected.
  • This medicine works gradually. Most people notice an improvement beginning 1 day to 2 weeks after the injection, depending on what condition is being treated. Once you reach peak improvement in your condition, the effects of the medicine will slowly decrease. This cycle usually lasts about 3 months.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using an antibiotic (such as clindamycin, gentamicin, neomycin, polymixin B, streptomycin, tobramycin, Cortisporin®, Garamycin®, Neosporin®, Tobrex®), medicine to treat Alzheimer's disease (such as tacrine, Cognex®, Exelon®, Aricept®), quinidine (Cardioquin®, Quinaglute®, Quinidex®), or magnesium sulfate.
  • Tell your doctor if you have received botulinum toxin for any reason in the past several months.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have any kind of nerve or nerve-muscle problem (such as myasthenia gravis or Lou Gehrig's disease) or heart disease.
  • Before you receive an injection, tell your doctor if you have had any kind of face, eye, head, or neck surgery, or if you currently have any unusual muscle pain or weakness.
  • Your doctor may need to check your progress 7 to 14 days after your treatment. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • If you are receiving this medicine for dystonia and you have been inactive, be careful to resume your activities slowly.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Bleeding, bruising, or swelling in or around your eye
  • Eye pain
  • Irregular heartbeat, chest pain
  • Severe trouble swallowing, breathing, or speaking
  • Trouble seeing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Double vision, trouble judging depth or distance
  • Drooping eyelid, dry eyes, watery eyes
  • Fainting
  • Headache, neck pain
  • Mild sneezing, stuffy nose, cough, muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Redness, pain, bruising, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Unusual weakness in other muscles (not where the shot was given)
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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