Botox is an injectable drug made from highly-purified botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles and comes from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum .
Botox injections are commonly used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Botox injections have recently been used to treat a wide range of medical conditions.
What are the uses of Botox?
There are medical conditions that may benefit from Botox therapy. These include:
neuromuscular conditions that impact muscle control, such as cerebral palsy
severe migraine headaches
incontinence or urine leakage
g:m astrointestinal tract conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome
spasm of the eyelids
spasms of the neck and shoulder muscles
conditions that cause intense muscle stiffness
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whether Botox injections are safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding is not currently known.
How Botox works
The neurotoxic proteins in Botox injections affect nerve impulses by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which temporarily prevents muscle cell contraction and glandular cell activity.
When used cosmetically, Botox is injected into specific facial or neck muscles, forcing them to relax and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, and forehead and frown lines.
Botox toxins may also be injected directly into overactive muscles or glands to limit their activity, such as the sweat glands under the armpits, neck muscles, or hand muscles.
Normally, Botox injections begin working within a few days of an injection. They tend to have only a localized, not systemic or whole body effect.
Botox toxins are thought to remain active in the body or target area for 4 to 6 months before being metabolized and excreted from the body.
Side effects for breast-feeding mothers
Botox injections are recognized as safe and, as yet, they have not been reported to transfer from mother to child.
But, Botox injections contain neurotoxins that can be dangerous in large doses or for people allergic to these chemicals.
Disease or infection caused by botulinum toxins is called botulism. Botulism can be life-threatening, especially in pregnant women, infants, those who are immune compromised or with gastrointestinal conditions.
Though some research has found that botulinum toxins may be too large to cross the placenta during pregnancy, pregnant and nursing women are encouraged to avoid potential sources of the toxin, including certain foods.
Though the research is still limited, Botox injections may also be able to spread to other nerves or cells in the body, causing unintended symptoms
Anytime side effects accompany or follow Botox injections, a person should seek immediate medical attention.
Though considered very rare, Botox injections can cause severe symptoms, predominantly respiratory distress, which can be fatal if untreated.
Rare complications associated with Botox injections include:
** rash, welts, or itchy skin at injection site
** inflammation, pain, redness, swelling, and bleeding at injection site
** undesired muscle paralysis or muscle weakness
** difficulty swallowing, breathing, or speaking
** increased or reduced saliva production or sweating
** nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea
** sore throat
** loss of bladder control
** urinary tract infection
** unexplained exhaustion
** droopy eyelid
** double or blurred vision
** asthma-type symptoms
** dizziness or feeling faint
Because it is still unclear whether or not Botox toxins can spread to a nursing child through breast milk or impact unborn babies during pregnancy, most doctors recommend avoiding Botox therapy during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
As botulinum toxins can stay active in the body for 6 months or more, it is sensible for women trying to become pregnant or planning on nursing, to avoid Botox injections.