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Botulinum toxin - Information on Botulinum toxin Type A, B

Botulinum is the class of bacterial toxin which is generally produced by Bacteria known for causing food poisioning. The Bacteria is known as Clostridium botulinum, and it is the major cause of most severe form of food poisoning.  The disease caused by this toxin is called Botulism, the potentially deadly food poisoning characterized by muscle paralysis.

Types of Botulinum toxin

Clinically there are three types of botulism poisoning, characterized by the manner in which they are contracted:

  1. Infant botulism - In this the toxin is produced when Clostridium botulinum spores germinate in the intestine. Rarely, adults can acquire the disease this way. But the public still generally associates botulism with food poisoning in adults and children.
  2. Food-borne botulism - In the food-borne form of the disease, the person ingests the toxin itself by eating food contaminated with it.
  3. Wound botulism - In wound botulism, which is very rare, the toxin is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria in an infected wound.

Botulinum Toxin Therapy

Treatment of facial skin involves injecting very small amounts of botulinum toxin directly into the underlying facial muscles to relax them. A tiny needle is used; the procedure is well tolerated and takes just a few minutes with no down time or prolonged recovery period. Botulinum toxin takes effect about 3 to 7 days after treatment.

The improvement generally lasts about 3 to 4 months; the effect gradually fades as muscle action returns. Patients require re-injection at various intervals. With repeated treatments, atrophy (thinning) of the muscle may occur. This usually produces longer-lasting results. 

Side Effects of using Botulinum toxin Therapy

  • Botulinum toxin therapy is a safe and effective treatment when given in very small amounts by a qualified neurologist.
  • Some patients experience temporary weakness in the group of muscles being treated.
  • For example, ptosis, also known as drooping eyelid, can develop after treating blepharospasm.
  • Flu-like symptoms develop in some cases.

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