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Biotechnology in Medicine - Botox


Botox is a pure form of the botulism toxin called Clostridium botulinum type A.Physicians use it in very small amounts to relax muscle contractions for neurological disorders,such as cerebral palsy, and other disorders with muscle contractions (in which muscles tighten uncontrollably). Originally, it was used for the treatment of crossed eyes.
As a product of allergan,Inc.,it is a cosmetic procedure that has grown in popularity.Cosmetic surgeons inject it under the skin and into muscles to temporarily reduce facial wrinkles. It is used to remove frown lines of the nose and forehead, and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Patients typically see results within a week, although longer response times may occur for smaller injections.The injections can be repeated when the effect wears off, usually between three to twelve months.Dosages are kept low because repeat users usually build up an immunity to Botox.Side effects,such as allergic reactions,are rare.Some patients may see some bruising around the injected area. The most common side effect is a headache.
Scientific Foundations:

The C. botulinum toxin is a poisonous bacterium. It can cause paralysis and death when eaten in contaminated food. However, C. botulinum can also heal people when used in a purified form by controlling muscle contractions.

The bacteria and spores of C. botulinum are found in soils of farmlands and forests and sediments of streams,lakes and coastal waters. The spores are also found on fruits and vegetables and in shellfish. The bacteria and spores cannot hurt humans. It is when they grow that the toxin is produced, which is the substance that harms people. There are seven varieties of C. botulinum, designated by the letters A,B,C,D,E,F and G. Types A,B,E,and F cause human botulism, while types C and D cause animal botulism. Type G is found in soil primarily in Argentina but has not yet caused botulism.


In 1989, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a pure form of the botulism toxin as a medicine called Botox. It treated two types of muscle problems with the eyes. The toxin weakened the muscle but did not affect surrounding muscles. Since, that time, Botox has been used to treat bad muscle posture and tension, muscle spasms of the neck and shoulder, uncontrollable blinking of the eyes, clenching of the jaw muscles, bladder muscle contractions, and nerve disorders.

The American society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that 1.6 million treatments of Botox were given in 2001, an increase of 46 percent over 2000. On April 15, 2002, the FDA approved C. botulinum toxin type A for the temporary relief of frown lines between the eyebrows after a scientific study showed that test subjects that used Botox had wrinkles reduce or disappear within thirty days.

Current issues:

The use of Botox concerned many people because it is one of the most poisonous materials known.When it was first introduced in the United States, many people did not like the idea of being injected in the face with poison. However, it also gained support from large numbers of users because it was an easy procedure with quick results. It is also relatively inexpensive when compared to cosmetic surgeries

Scientific studies show that 0.000001 milligram per one kilogram
of body weight will cause death in people half the time. However, according to the Food and Drug Administration, its safety record is very good.

Botox can leak into nearby areas causing temporary weakness of muscles. Around the eye, for example , the problem can cause difficulty in lifting the eyelids or double vision. People who use Botox may develop allergic reaction or immunity to it Injections in the same area may cause the muscle to weaken, what is called dimpling. Botox has been used for many years so its long - term effects are well known. Some patients may develop difficulty in breathing, swallowing, or talking. Pregnant woman should not take Botox because the risks to the foetus are not known.

Problems have occurred when unqualified people inject Botox incorrectly into patients. Many times Botox has been injected in salons, gyms, motel rooms, and other unsanitary areas that may not be safe. The FDA recommends that all Botox treatments be taken in a sterile environment from a physician who is certified in facial cosmetics.
Regards ,
Lavkesh Sharma

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