Log In

How do Botox injections help?

What are Botox injections?

  • They are injections of botulinum toxin into muscles affected by dystonia (involuntary muscle spasms)
  • The botulinum toxin causes temporary weakness in the injected muscles and stops the spasms
  • 1-3 injections with a small needle are made in each muscle affected by dystonia
  • It is important that a trained doctor give the Botox shots
    • Some use an electromyography (EMG) to locate the overactive muscles and to measure and record muscle activity

How effective is Botox?

  • Once Botox is injected, it starts working within a few days
  • Botox provides relief from dystonia for several months before it needs to be injected again
  • Individuals who respond well to Botox can continue to use it for many years without side effects
  • Some individuals who had previous success with Botox may begin to experience a decrease in effectiveness over time
    • The nature and/or pattern of muscle contractions may change
    • An individual may make antibodies that “fight” the toxin and decrease its effectiveness

When should it be considered?

  • Since Botox must be injected into each affected muscle, it should considered when an individual has dystonia affecting a specific body part, such as a hand
  • It is also effective in individuals who have most of their dystonia symptoms controlled by other medications/methods but need extra treatment for a particular area

Are there any side effects or cons?

  • Possible side effects of Botox:
    • Muscle weakness
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Soreness at the injection site
    • All of these side effects are temporary and typically clear up on their own
    • Adjusting the dosage or site of injection may help avoid these side effects
  • Resistance to Botox can develop
    • Treatment may lose its effectiveness over time
    • The body may make antibodies that “fight” the toxin and decreases its effectiveness

Copyright © 2014 by NBIAcure.org. All rights reserved.