Dysport vs Botox

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For individuals keen on reducing fine lines and wrinkles, certain treatments that use neurotoxins can assist in smoothing the skin and improving aesthetic appearance. Dysport and Botox are two such treatments frequently used for cosmetic purposes. Both of these work by blocking nerve signals to the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity which leads to reduced visible wrinkles. Dysport is known for its fast-acting results and wider diffusion which may be beneficial for treating larger areas like forehead wrinkles. Botox, on the other hand, has more controlled distribution making it ideal for targeting smaller or precise areas like 'crow's feet' around the eyes.

What is Dysport?

Dysport and Botox are both types of Botulinum toxin injections that smooth frown lines between the eyebrows. While they are used to treat similar conditions, there are some differences in how the two drugs work. Dysport is a newer drug than Botox, having been approved by the FDA for use in 2009, while Botox was first approved back in 1989. Both drugs work by blocking nerve signals to the muscles, causing them to relax and thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Dysport has been found to spread a bit more (diffuse), making it a good choice for areas with larger surface such as forehead wrinkles or crow's feet where you want a more natural look rather than total paralysis of all muscles. However, this diffusion can also cause it to migrate and affect nearby muscle groups in rare occasions which could lead to complications like droopy eyelids if not injected properly. Conversely, Botox tends notspread much after injection ensuring targeted treatment but might require multiple precision injections especially on larger areas.

What conditions is Dysport approved to treat?

Dysport is approved for the treatment of several conditions, including:

  • Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis), which causes the muscles in your neck to tighten involuntarily
  • Spasticity in adults, particularly upper limb spasticity
  • Lower limb spasticity in pediatric patients aged 2 years and older
  • The temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows) associated with specific muscle activity.

How does Dysport help with these illnesses?

Dysport works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by temporarily reducing muscle activity in the face. It does this by blocking the signal from nerve cells that control muscle contraction, thus relaxing and smoothing out wrinkles. The active ingredient in Dysport is a type of botulinum toxin called abobotulinumtoxinA, which acts as a neuromuscular-blocking agent.

The botulinum toxin disrupts the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for triggering muscle contractions. By doing so, it prevents muscles from contracting and forming facial lines and wrinkles. While both Dysport and Botox utilize forms of Botulinum Toxin Type A to immobilize facial muscles, they may differ slightly in terms of onset time, spread and dosage; hence how quickly results can be seen after treatment or how long those results last may vary between these two products.

What is Botox?

Botox, or Botulinum toxin type A, is a brand name for a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox works by blocking nerve signals in the muscles where it is injected. This leads to temporary muscle paralysis that helps reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and treat certain medical conditions such as eyelid spasms and chronic migraines. It was first approved by FDA in 1989 for therapeutic use and later in 2002 for cosmetic purposes.

Unlike Dysport, Botox does not spread far from the injection site, which allows doctors more control over how much area should be treated. The effects of Botox are also seen sooner than with Dysport - often within 72 hours compared to an average of three to five days with Dysport.

As an injectable medication like all botulinum toxin products, some side effects can occur — most notably mild pain at the injection site, headache or flu-like symptoms. However, its lack of diffusion means less likelihood of unwanted muscle weakness away from the treatment area (a possible side-effect associated with Dysport). Its fast-acting nature can provide significant relief especially when used therapeutically.

What conditions is Botox approved to treat?

Botox has received FDA approval for the treatment of several medical and aesthetic conditions, including:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Severe underarm sweating when topical medicines don't work well
  • Overactive bladder symptoms such as a strong need to urinate with leaking or wetting accidents (urge urinary incontinence), a strong need to urinate right away (urgency), and urinating often (frequency) in adults 18 years and older when another type of medicine does not work well enough or cannot be taken.
  • Prevention of headaches in adults with chronic migraine who have 15 or more days each month with headache lasting 4 hours or more.
  • To treat upper limb spasticity in adult patients to decrease the severity of increased muscle tone in elbow flexors, wrist flexors, finger flexors, and thumb muscles.

How does Botox help with these illnesses?

Botox, much like Dysport, operates by blocking the release of a chemical messenger from nerve endings to muscle cells, effectively paralyzing them. This inhibits the muscle contractions that cause wrinkles and fine lines, thereby creating a smoother appearance on the skin's surface. Acetylcholine is this particular neurotransmitter which controls muscle contractions. The strength of Botox lies in its targeted approach - it only affects neuromuscular connections where it has been injected and does not spread throughout the body. Its action is also reversible with time as new neuronal connections are formed, making it an effective but temporary solution for cosmetic applications and certain medical conditions such as excessive sweating or chronic migraines. While both Dysport and Botox use botulinum toxin type A to achieve these effects, they have different unit measurements; therefore dosage requirements may vary between them.

How effective are both Dysport and Botox?

Both Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) and Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) have established histories of success in treating a variety of conditions, from reducing the appearance of wrinkles to managing muscle spasticity. They were initially approved by the FDA within a decade of each other, with Botox receiving approval in 1989 for therapeutic use and Dysport gaining approval in 2009. Both are derived from botulinum toxin type A and function by blocking nerve activity in the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity.

The effectiveness of Dysport and Botox at alleviating symptoms was directly studied through various clinical trials. One such study conducted over three months found that both drugs demonstrated similar efficacy when used cosmetically to manage glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows). The safety profiles were also comparable with no significant differences noted.

However, there are some important distinctions between these two treatments: Firstly, though they contain the same active ingredient - botulinum toxin type A - it's not present in equal measures across both products; one unit of Botox does not correspond to one unit of Dysport. This means dosage cannot be interchanged between them without medical guidance.

Secondly, while both are effective at reducing signs of aging or addressing medical concerns like excessive sweating or migraines, their diffusion characteristics vary slightly which can impact results based on treatment area size and depth. For instance, Dysport tends to diffuse more, meaning it spreads out over a larger area after injection – this could be advantageous when treating larger areas like forehead wrinkles but less so for targeted areas needing precise control.

In conclusion while both medications serve similar purposes they do exhibit minor differences which may make one more suitable than another depending on individual patient needs.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Dysport typically prescribed?

Injectable dosages of Dysport vary based on the treatment area and indication but generally range from 50-300 units per session for adults. For example, treating moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows typically requires 50 units (10 units injected into five sites). Dosages may be increased after a few weeks if there is no response. However, as with Botox, it's important not to exceed the maximum dosage recommended by your healthcare provider or more than once every three months in order to avoid developing resistance. Children should not receive Dysport or Botox injections unless specifically prescribed by their doctor for approved medical conditions such as muscle stiffness/spasms.

At what dose is Botox typically prescribed?

Botox treatment typically begins with a dosage of 20-40 units injected directly into the muscles causing wrinkles or muscle spasms. The dose can then be adjusted depending on individual reaction and needs, usually in an interval of two weeks to allow the full effect to manifest. Maximum dose per session varies based on the area being treated; however, it is generally suggested not to exceed 200 units within 30 days for cosmetic purposes, whereas for medical conditions like chronic migraines, up to 155 units divided among multiple sites may be administered every three months. All dosages should only be determined by a trained healthcare professional familiar with its use.

What are the most common side effects for Dysport?

Common side effects of Dysport and Botox include:

  • Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site
  • Headache or migraine
  • Feeling tired or drowsy
  • Allergic reactions such as itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint.
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness near where the medicine was injected
  • Trouble swallowing for several months after treatment if used in neck muscles
  • Vision problems including blurred vision and drooping eyelids
  • Skin tightness

Please contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these side effects.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Dysport?

While Dysport and Botox have a lot in common, there are some differences in the potential side effects that may occur. Some of these can include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Muscle weakness all over the body
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing
  • Breathing difficulties that can lead to life-threatening complications
  • Loss of bladder control

Additionally, Dysport can cause botulism symptoms if it spreads beyond the injection site. These could be severe muscle weakness throughout your body, trouble seeing or blurred vision, drooping eyelids as well as loss of strength and muscle tone.

If you experience any such situations post-treatment with Dysport injections then immediate medical attention is highly recommended.

What are the most common side effects for Botox?

Some of the potential side effects that can occur with Botox include:

  • Mild pain or swelling around the injection site
  • Headache or flu-like symptoms
  • Droopy eyelid or eyebrows
  • Eye dryness or excessive tearing
  • Trouble swallowing, speaking, or breathing if given in higher doses typically used for treating muscle disorders. This happens due to weakening of associated muscles.

Remember it is essential to have Botox administered by a qualified healthcare professional who understands your complete medical history and has experience administering these types of injections.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Botox?

While Botox is a well-known and popular treatment, it's important to be cognizant of potential side effects. Serious reactions may include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Muscle weakness all over the body
  • Vision problems or blurred vision
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • Breathing troubles that can potentially be life-threatening
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Heartbeat irregularities

In addition to these more serious symptoms, there could also be signs of botulism - including loss of strength and muscle weakness throughout the body, double vision and drooping eyelids. If you experience any severe symptoms after receiving Botox injections, seek medical attention immediately.

Contraindications for Dysport and Botox?

Both Dysport and Botox, as with most other neurotoxin medications, may cause side effects in some individuals. If you notice difficulty swallowing, speaking or breathing; muscle weakness; vision changes; loss of bladder control; or are experiencing any other serious reactions after administration of these neurotoxins, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Dysport nor Botox can be administered if you have had an allergic reaction to any botulinum toxin product in the past or if you have a skin infection at the planned injection site. Always inform your physician about all the medications you are currently taking - including prescription medicines, non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal products – as these could potentially interact with Dysport/Botox injections.

Patients receiving antibiotics by injection (aminoglycosides), muscle relaxants, allergy or cold medicine, sleep medication or anticoagulants should inform their doctor prior to receiving either treatment. These medications may increase certain side effects of both Dysport and Botox.

How much do Dysport and Botox cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price per unit for Botox Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) ranges from $10 to $15, depending on your location and provider. Considering that an average treatment might require 20-60 units, this totals between $200-$900 per session.
  • Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA), in a similar vein, costs around $4 to $6 per unit. However, it's important to note that typically more units of Dysport are required for each treatment area compared to Botox. Therefore, despite the lower cost per unit, a comparable Dysport treatment may still range from roughly $200–$600.

The decision between Botox or Dysport should be made based on effectiveness and duration rather than price alone as both medications have different properties and effects which can vary among individuals. There are currently no generic versions available for either medication due to their biological nature.

Remember that medical procedures such as these often involve additional fees related to service or administration cost aside from just the product itself. Please consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions regarding treatments involving botulinum toxins.

Popularity of Dysport and Botox

AbobotulinumtoxinA, commonly known as Dysport, is a prescription injection used to treat various muscle spasms and disorders. In 2020, it was estimated that about 1.5 million people in the US were prescribed Dysport for cosmetic or medical purposes; this accounts for approximately 10% of all botulinum toxin prescriptions. It's worth noting that Dysport has seen an increase in usage since its introduction to the market in 2009.

On the other hand, OnabotulinumtoxinA or Botox - arguably the most well-known brand name associated with botulinum toxins - was prescribed to about 6.3 million people in the USA during 2020. This makes Botox account for just over half of all botulinum toxin prescriptions within this period. The prevalence of Botox has remained steady over time due to its reputation as both a cosmetic enhancer and a treatment for certain medical conditions like chronic migraines and excessive sweating.


Both Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA) and Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) have long-standing records of usage in patients with various neuromuscular disorders, cosmetic concerns, and are backed by numerous clinical studies indicating that they provide significant improvement over no treatment. Both drugs work by blocking nerve signals to muscles, reducing muscle activity.

The decision to use either Dysport or Botox can depend on the specific condition being treated as well as patient preference. For instance, Dysport tends to spread more than Botox post-injection which may be beneficial for treating larger areas but less so for targeted treatments.

Neither drug is available in generic form hence their cost can vary based on factors like insurance coverage and geographic location. It's important to note that the effects of both Dysport and Botox are not permanent; regular injections at intervals decided by your healthcare provider will be necessary to maintain results.

Side effect profiles are similar between the two products; common side effects include pain or bruising at the injection site, headache or flu-like symptoms. Severe side effects such as difficulty swallowing or breathing should warrant immediate medical attention. As always when considering any medical procedure or therapy, it’s essential you discuss all risks versus benefits with a qualified healthcare professional.