Botulinum toxin (Botox) does not just have cosmetic purposes, although it is normally used for reducing facial wrinkles.
Botulinum toxin, derives from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum.
Botulinum toxin is thought to act by two distinct mechanisms. It has a direct pain killing effect (anti-nociceptive effect) as a result of blocking central transmission of pain impulses from the periphery to the brain. It also acts on muscle nerves resetting the level of contraction and thereby reducing muscle spasm.
Whilst the number of clinical indications for botulinum toxin has escalated dramatically over the last 5 years it is not a new drug or novel technique. It has been used cosmetically for around 15 years and indeed some of its beneficial effects in terms of pain alleviation were discovered from its use cosmetically. An example of this is the use of botulinum toxin in migraine prophylaxis where early indications of its potential benefit were derived from patients undergoing cosmetic treatment with Botox and noting a decrease in the frequency and severity of their migraine headaches.
It may be given in a number of different conditions and studies are now emerging indicating its effectiveness in the treatment of:
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
The incidence of side effects or complications with botulinum toxin is incredibly small. Unlike other analgesic preparations it does not cause systemic upset, central effects such as light headedness or failure of concentration, liver or kidney toxicity. There are no reported cases of allergy and improvements in manufacturing processes have resulted in an increase in the purity of the product and hence a decrease in tolerance secondary to the formation of antibodies on repeated injections.
Other complications are exclusively related to dosage and as such it is essential that botulinum toxin injections are performed by an individual experienced and competent in the delivery of botulinum toxin injections.
The onset of action of botulinum toxin is approximately 2 weeks after injection.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.