I have had patients ask me recently, “What’s the difference between Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin?” The three neuromuscular relaxants/modulators are all very similar and effective at treating and delaying the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. These types of medications are now being used as preventative and maintenance therapies in addition to their original indication as a therapeutic drug. Botox was the first drug developed to be used to relax the muscles in the face that cause wrinkling in the forehead, glabella or eleven’s, and the crow’s feet area. Because of its brand recognition and marketing efforts, many patients ask for it by name. Botox also has a customer loyalty program, Brilliant Distinctions that rewards patients with points that can be used towards future treatments.
An attractive quality of Dysport is that it is made of a slightly smaller protein, so it works quicker. Patients see results with Dysport in 2-3 days, where as Botox can take up to one week. Both products last about 3-4 months in most patients. Dysport has a higher diffusion rate, which means it spreads out more. I use both products and have very happy patients who have received both Dysport and Botox.
Xeomin, the newest addition to the neuromodulator family, is often called a “naked” protein because there are no additives- just botulinum toxin type A. This has been said to lessen the patient’s likelihood of developing a resistance to the product. Like Botox, Xeomin takes about a week to “kick in” and lasts about the same as Botox and Dysport.
Ultimately, each patient is different, and what works for some, may not work as well for others, and conversely some patients may prefer the effect of one over the effect of the other. If one is not happy with the effects of a particular medication, they can try one of the others to see if it is right for them. The most important factor is to choose a qualified facial plastic surgeon with experience providing the various types of injectable neuromuscular modulators.
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