We now have 2 good products on the market for smoothing out dynamic wrinkles: Botox and Dysport. Both are forms of botulinum toxin, a potent chemical that blocks signals at the junction between nerves and muscles. Botox (onabotulinum A), has been around for about 30 years and was initially developed to treat disorders of muscle spasm, such as frequent uncontrolled blinking (blepharospasm). Doctors noted that their patients who received Botox around the eyes had decreased wrinkles, an unexpected benefit of the treatment. An enterprising pharmaceutical company, Allergan, sought a cosmetic indication from the FDA. Botox Cosmetic was introduced to the market, approved for treatment of glabellar wrinkles (those vertical lines between your eyebrows). As is often the case, doctors experimented with injecting Botox in many areas of the face and today it is administered all around the eyes, face and lips.

In 2009, a second product came on the market called Dysport (abobotulinum A), which is very similar chemically to Botox. Many doctors have now gained experience with both medications, but which one is better? Patients who have tried both often prefer one over the other stating that one has a faster onset or lasts longer. A double blind randomized trial (the gold standard for research) was conducted in which patients were injected at the crow’s feet on one side of their face with Botox and the other side with Dysport. They were photographed at the time of injection and at 30 days after. They were also asked to rate which side they liked better. Among the 90 patients studied, they rated Dysport better 2/3 of the time and the researchers also rated Dysport as better for smoothing crow’s feet than Botox. The difference was mainly noted when patients were smiling very vigorously. At rest no difference was noted. In other studies, the risks and side effect profiles were equivalent.

In my experience, Botox and Dysport both work well.  Patients who have used both comment that Dysport seems to have a quicker onset (1-3 days vs. 3-7 days), but that hasn’t been universal.  Dysport can be slightly cheaper as the company that distributes it in the US often offers rebates to the patients. If you have been using Botox and it is working well for you, I’d continue with it.  Occasionally people develop a tolerance to one drug and then you could switch over to the other and likely still get good results again. If you have never tried either, the choice is yours. They both work well and are safe.

If you are interested in trying Botox or Dysport, call our office for a consultation at 801-264-4420.