Botox has emerged as a popular choice worldwide when it comes to rejuvenating treatments. However, the realm of botulinum toxins encompasses a variety of brands and types, each with its unique characteristics. From the renowned Botox, which initiated the phenomenon, to alternatives like Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau, the market presents a range of choices.
These various formulations of botulinum toxin type A offer different nuances in terms of composition, onset of action, and even brand-specific dosing units. Join us as we delve into the world of Botox brands, exploring their medical and cosmetic applications, mechanisms of action, and considerations for safe and effective use.
What Is Botulinum Toxin Type A?
Botulinum toxin type A is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is one of several types of botulinum toxin produced by different strains of the bacterium. Botulinum toxin type A is the most widely known and extensively used form of botulinum toxin for medical and cosmetic purposes, and the Botox brand name is most commonly used as a shorthand for these kinds of products.
Botulinum toxin type A functions by inhibiting the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells. By blocking the release of acetylcholine, the toxin interferes with the normal communication between nerve cells and muscles, resulting in temporary muscle paralysis or weakening.
In medical applications, botulinum toxin type A is primarily used for its muscle-relaxing properties. It is employed in the treatment of various medical conditions, including muscle spasms, chronic migraines, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder, and certain movement disorders like cervical dystonia.
Botulinum toxin type A is also popularly used in cosmetic procedures to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face in a similar fashion to dermal fillers. By injecting small amounts of the toxin into specific facial muscles, it can temporarily relax them, resulting in a smoother and more youthful appearance. It has become so popular that over 6 million procedures a year involve Botox injections.
Types of Botox
Over the years, researchers have discovered multiple subtypes of botulinum toxin type A. Several of them are currently available; each is produced by a different manufacturer.
In this section, we’ll go over the most common types and explain how they differ.
The most common and widely recognized botulinum toxin is synonymous with the Botox brand. It’s manufactured by Allergan Aesthetics, now part of the AbbVie group. OnabotulinumtoxinA is highly valuable in medical and cosmetic applications. Medically, it is used to treat muscle spasms, dystonias, chronic migraines, hyperhidrosis, and overactive bladder. In the realm of aesthetics, it is used for facial wrinkle reduction.
The formulation of AbobotulinumtoxinA is slightly different from OnabotulinumtoxinA, which allows it to have a faster onset of action, but also broader diffusion and lower potency. It has a lower protein and is often referred to as a “naked” formulation. The most notable manufacturer is the French company Ipsen, which manufactures Dysport.
IncobotulinumtoxinA is another type of botulinum toxin type A. It is considered a “naked” toxin without complexing proteins, potentially reducing the risk of antibody formation and making it a choice for individuals who have developed resistance to other botulinum toxin products. Xeomin is the most notable brand, produced by Merz Pharmaceuticals and approved for use in multiple countries.
PrabotulinumtoxinA, marketed under the brand names Nabota and Jeuveau, is a type A botulinum toxin formulation. It shares similarities with other types of Botox brands regarding the mechanism of action but has a slightly different protein structure and recommended dosage.
It’s worth noting that while these different brands may have slight differences in their formulation or properties, they all primarily function by inhibiting muscle contractions and work in a similar manner. However, the dosing and units may vary between brands, which we’ll explain in more detail in the following sections.
Best Botox Brands in 2023
The specialization of botox manufacturers led to them leading the charge in the field of medical and cosmetic injections. We’re talking about these four brands specifically: Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau, and Xeomin.
Botox is, without a doubt, the most well-known cosmetic injectable in the world. Developed in the 1970s as a treatment for cross eyes, it later became a cosmetic injectable thanks to its muscle-relaxing features. It was also the first neurotoxin that got FDA approval for cosmetic use. Today, Botox is so popular that, when people talk about getting a non-invasive cosmetic treatment, they pretty much always think about Botox.
Alongside Botox, Dysport has been around for many years and has been included in the top 10 Botox brands ever since. It was developed in 1984 by Porton International as a cure for dystonic conditions like cervical dystonia and writer’s cramp. Six years later, Dysport was approved in Europe for medical treatments and earned global recognition soon after.
One of the “youngest” botulinum toxins in this list, Jeuveau is a purified botulinum toxin type A formulation and prescription medicine. It’s primarily used for correcting frown (eyebrow) lines, including severe cases of glabellar lines. Jeuveau got its FDA certification in early 2019.
Xeomin was the fourth neurotoxin to get FDA approval for cosmetic use. Originally used for treating blepharospasm and cervical dystonia in adults, Xeomin nowadays also has cosmetic applications. What sets it apart from other products here is that it’s genuinely pure botulinum toxin, making it the best Botox brand for people with allergies and developed immunity to other brands.
What is the Difference Between Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau?
So far, we’ve seen a lot of similarities between these four Botox brands. They’re made from basically the same ingredients, so it comes as no surprise that they share many similarities, too. Their results, specifically, are the same – muscle relaxation, leading to reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, along with other therapeutic benefits.
But they’re not really the same. Since each of them is made from a slightly different type of botulinum toxin, they each have a different onset and duration. Dysport and Jeuveau have the fastest onset – just three hours, with noticeable effects appearing within 3-7 days. Compared to these, Botox and Xeomin are drastically slower, as their onsets are 72 and 96 hours, respectively.
We’ve previously mentioned patients developing a “resistance” to these injectables. This is most common in Botox and Dysport. Additives in these two types of Botox can trigger autoimmune reactions in certain patients, causing the body to simply not accept the injections.
As for the dosage, Dysport proved to be the “weakest” of the bunch. If you inject Dysport, you’ll typically need a 2-3 times higher dosage than other injectable neurotoxins. That also leads us to price – Botox is, by far, the most expensive product of this kind, while Jeuveau provides the best value. On the other hand, Jeuveau isn’t FDA-certified for medical applications, only for cosmetic procedures.
Lastly, one advantage Xeomin has over the other Botox brands is that it can be stored at room temperature, while other injectables require refrigeration. The reason for this is simple – Xeomin doesn’t contain any additives, including lactose, so it doesn’t spoil outside a cooled environment. It’s the purest form of incobotulinomtoxinA.
What to Expect During Treatment
A typical Botox treatment involves a few simple and quick steps. It all starts with a consultation, where the patient’s desires and physical profile are taken into account when selecting the type of injectable to use.
Afterward, the treated area should be cleansed and then numbed using a topical anesthetic. Using specialized fine needles, the surgeon administers a series of injections directly into the muscles of the treated area. Some patients report a slight stinging sensation during the procedure but nothing to be afraid of.
The whole procedure usually takes about 15 minutes or less, depending on the number of injections. Patients can freely continue their daily activities after the Botox injection while taking care not to touch or put any pressure on the treated area. The effects of Botox last for three to six months, and the same can be said for other brands.
Patients seeking relief from muscle spasms or desiring a smoother, more youthful appearance have a range of choices and different Botox brands to meet their specific needs. Whether it’s the well-known Botox, the alternative options like Dysport, Xeomin, or the newer contender PrabotulinumtoxinA (Nabota/Jeuveau), each brand has its unique characteristics and considerations. Understanding the differences between the various botulinum toxin formulations can help individuals make informed decisions and achieve their desired outcomes.
Which brand is best for Botox?
This depends on the desired effects and whether the patient has developed immunity to traditional botulinum toxin injections. Xeomin is the purest form of these injections, while Dysport and Jeuveau provide the fastest results.
What brands of Botox last longer?
According to various studies, Dysport provides the longest-lasting results. These usually last five to eight months, while Botox effects rarely last longer than six months.
What are the 3 types of Botox?
The most common Botox brands, besides Botox itself, are Dysport, Jeuveau, and Xeomin.
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AbobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport®), OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox®), and IncobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin®) Neurotoxin Content and Potential Implications for Duration of Response in Patients; Malgorzata Field, Andrew Splevins, Philippe Picaut, Marcel van der Schans, Jan Langenberg, Daan Noort, and Keith Foster; Feb 2019