What are the medical differences between Dysport® & Botox®
The word Botox® has become a part of our everyday language. With over 3 million Botox® procedures performed in the US alone last year, ever-increasing applications of the “wonder drug” and increasing consumer demand and awareness of its inherent safety profile, there is no question that Botox® has secured its place in every aesthetic doctor and nurse’s medication fridge.
The last few months, however, have produced an increasing number of reports that Botox® may finally be presented with competition in the battle against wrinkles. As has become the norm, a new product has been clinically tested and utilized in Europe and South America with promising results. The “new” injection is being marketed as Dysport® and is currently under review by the FDA for distribution and utilization within the US.
After reviewing the available literature on Dysport® this much can be said so far:
1. Dysport® and Botox® have similar mechanisms of action (neuromuscular junction blocking toxin)
2. Dysport® has less of a protein load than Botox®. Clinically this means that Dysport® will result in the formation of fewer antibodies fighting against it. Antibodies are what our bodies use to detect and destroy foreign proteins aka antigens (the injected medications). Hence the assumption is that with fewer antibodies being formed the clinical effects of Dysport® should last longer than those of Botox®. That being said, some clinical trials indicate that Botox® has longer-lasting results. We can’t say which product last longer than the other. Over time, with less stimulation of the muscles, less habitual movement, Botulinum Toxin holds for longer.
3. In clinical studies, an author’s noted that Dysport® “spreads more” during the injection. This is both a good and a bad thing. It is good in that large areas that need the injection (forehead, armpits) would require fewer injections due to the spreading. This would mean less likelihood of potential discomfort, swelling or bruising for the patient. It is bad in that unless the Physician is an experienced injector with a good understanding of more complex musculature (around the eyes, between the eyebrows), the Dysport® could spread into unwanted areas causing untoward side effects (blurry vision, droopy eyebrows).
4. Dysport® is diluted more than Botox® which may cause some confusion for Clinicians not adept at determining how many units to inject in each anatomical area with the new product. However, in the United Kingdom and in New Zealand, this dilution has resulted in more cost-effectiveness.
5. At this stage, no significant “red flags” have been raised about the safety of Dysport®. Of specific concern, allergies and infections have not been seen to a clinically significant degree.
As always competition is a good and healthy thing. The emergence of an alternative drug to Botox® should spur on pricing competition that will benefit both Patients and Cosmetic injectors alike. Also, new research and development are already underway to provide the next “bigger and better” product (anyone heard of Xeomin®? If not you will soon).
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