What is Dysport?
Dysport is a botulinum toxin type A injectable filler. It is also known as Azzalure, which is targeted at cosmetic use. This product is similar to Botox in that it is also a neuromodulator: by temporarily paralyzing muscles, this botulinum toxin relaxes wrinkles and muscle spasms to treat a variety of medical conditions. This vial contains a white powder ready for reconstitution with saline solution and comes in 300 unit or 500 unit vials, although Azzalure is available in 125 units for cosmetic uses.
The active ingredient in this medical injectable is botulinum toxin type A, which comes from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, known for causing the illness botulism in larger quantities. However, in small quantities, this neurotoxin paralyzes targeted muscles for a limited time, allowing the patient to benefit from its neuromodulating effects. Botulinum toxin injections such as these are the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic surgery treatment, with millions of injections performed each year in the United States alone.
What makes a good candidate for these treatments?
Cosmetic treatments are usually only suitable for patients over the age of 18. Previously, only more mature patients with visible facial wrinkles would choose Dysport treatments, but many younger patients between the ages of 20 and 30 are now seeking injections for wrinkle prevention. By preventing certain muscles from moving, doctors can help prevent visible wrinkles from forming at the skin's surface as the patient ages. Children may be suitable for medical treatment if they have cerebral palsy, and adults with other muscle spasm conditions may also be suitable for treatment. These injections are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women because of the potential for its toxic effects to spread beyond the target muscle. They are also not suitable for patients with a muscle, nerve, or bleeding disorder.
Areas treated with Dysport
This neuromodulator can treat wrinkles caused by muscle movement, as well as medical conditions involving muscle spasms. Some of these treatment applications include:
- Glabellar lines between the eyebrows. Some doctors also use it to treat other facial wrinkles caused by muscle movement
- Eyelid twitching, called blepharospasm.
Facial twitching, called hemifacial spasm.
- Leg muscle stiffness from cerebral palsy in children.
- Arm spasticity in adults.
- Neck spasms from cervical dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis.
How does Dysport work?
Some wrinkles are caused by repeated muscle movements. As the patient smiles, frowns, and makes other facial expressions, the skin's surface becomes creased, gradually causing permanent wrinkles to form. Botulinum toxin is a neuromodulator that has the ability to temporarily paralyze muscles, causing relaxation at the skin's surface. Made by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, this neurotoxin blocks the release of acetylcholine, thus blocking the ability of nerves to send signals to muscles. Without a signal to move, the muscles remain in a relaxed position, preventing them from squeezing the skin together to form wrinkles. The effects of this neuromodulator eventually wear off, returning the affected muscles to normal movement, although after repeated injections the muscles may gradually become weaker.
First, use saline to reconstitute the botulinum toxin powder and dilute the active ingredient appropriately. Clean the injection site using an antiseptic, and if desired, apply an anesthetic. Use a needle to inject the solution directly into the affected muscle or muscles, which may involve multiple injections in the same area. The treatment usually takes less than 30 minutes and the patient can resume their normal activities immediately.
How long does Dysport last?
The results of a Dysport treatment usually appear 1–2 days after treatment and last at least 3 months or longer. You can repeat treatments after waiting at least 3 months after the previous treatment.
After many millions of treatments around the world, botulinum toxins have proven their safety. However, some patients do experience minor side effects, which are mainly related to the injection process itself. This being said, there is always the risk of a rare allergic reaction or overdose and the spread of toxic effects to another area of the body. These rare side effects could be life threatening, so patients should seek medical attention if they experience difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, hives, or drooping eyelids. Some of the more common side effects include:
- Bruising at the injection site;
- Pain at the injection site;
- And itching.
Recovery time after a treatment
These treatments are minimally invasive, so patients can return to work or their other normal activities immediately after treatment. If there are any mild side effects from the injection, such as bruising, they usually resolve within a few days. Rare, more severe side effects may last longer or even be permanent. The results themselves may not be visible until a few days after treatment.
Cost of Dysport treatments
The cost of treatments may vary, depending on the amount needed. This in turn can depend on the condition of the patient's skin, the size of the area needing treatment, the geographical location of the physician, and other factors. Treatments can cost between $300 and $400 USD per treatment session, and doctors may charge by units, by vials, or by treatment area. Since reconstituted botulinum toxin may only remain effective a certain amount of time, doctors usually take this into consideration when determining treatment costs, and they may offer specials or sales to entice more patients to come in near the same time.
How does this botulinum toxin differ from Azzalure?
Both botulinim toxin products are made of botulinum toxin type A, and are produced by the same medical manufacturer. However, Azzalure is available in a smaller quantity of units, and Ipsen markets this neurotoxin specifically for cosmetic use.
How does this botulinum toxin differ from Botox?
Both neuromodulators are made of botulinum toxin type A, but are produced by different manufacturers (Ipsen for Dysport, and Allergan for Botox). Their units are not equivalent, so the same dilution and dosage of 1 brand is not the same as the other.