Neurotoxins 101: What They Are, How They Work, and More
Neurotoxins have been used by Medical Aesthetics professionals for more than 30 years.1 As one of the most popular aesthetic treatments, it’ll be important for you to become familiar with neurotoxins and its indications to help your patients achieve their aesthetic goals.
Here, we’ll break down this treatment, including how it works, how it’s used, and more.
What is a neurotoxin?
Botulinum neurotoxin is an FDA-approved prescription treatment that is administered via intramuscular injection. It works by affecting nerve tissue, resulting in a localized reduction in muscle activity.1
It’s important to note that there are several botulinum neurotoxins available on the market, and they are not interchangeable. Their units cannot be converted according to their labels, and there is no dose ratio between botulinum neurotoxin products.1
What areas can be treated with neurotoxins?
One area where neurotoxins can be administered is in the temporary treatment of moderate to severe glabellar lines (the lines that appear between the eyebrows) on the face.1
OK, so how do neurotoxins work?
The clinical effect of botulinum neurotoxins is a direct but reversible inhibition of a presynaptic neurotransmitter release. It inhibits the neuron mechanisms, which results in temporary restricted movements, resulting in smoother-looking lines.1
What are the risks associated with neurotoxins?
Different neurotoxins have different risks associated with them, and as a provider, it will be important to understand them all and ensure you’re communicating them factually to patients. Neurotoxins could cause serious and possibly life-threatening side effects, such as allergic reactions, heart problems, eye problems, and problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing. Some other common side effects include nose and throat irritation, headache, pain or skin reactions at the injection site (including bruising or redness), eyelid swelling or drooping, increased white blood cell count in your blood, and cold or flu-like symptoms.1 The potential side effects can be serious, which is why Medical Aesthetics professionals need to be well-educated and trained when administering neurotoxins.
How are neurotoxins administered?
Neurotoxins are administered by intramuscular injection. Neurotoxins are sold in a vial, in powder form, and before use, they must be reconstituted. Manufacturers advise the use of unpreserved saline for reconstitution. Remember, all neurotoxins are different and consult the prescribing information for each one.