Complications and Adverse Reactions With the Use of Botulinum Toxin

Botulinum toxins are the causative agents of the severe food-borne illness botulism. With lethal doses approximating 10 -9 g/kg body weight, these neurotoxins represent some of the most toxic naturally occurring substances. Regardless, botulinum toxin is considered a safe therapy for inappropriate muscle spasms with adverse effects being typically self-limited. This article deals with some of the complications that have occurred with these treatments. The greatest concern with the use of BOTOX is probably the formation of blocking antibodies leading to nonresponse of subsequent treatment. Prevalence of resistance is less than 5%. Most complications associated with its aesthetic use are few and anecdotal. Nevertheless, the common problems and pitfalls associated with aesthetic treatment of the various areas of the face and neck with botulinum toxin are discussed. Also included are recommendations as to how to avoid these very undesirable, yet common, problems.

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