What Is Botox

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“I don’t really believe in marriage. Now Botox, on the other hand, that works every time,”quipped famously in 2008 by Sex and City character Samantha Jones. The wonder drug she lovingly refers to is the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), widely known as Botox. The very mention of the word ‘Botox’ harbours a polarising response. Many people question its safety and the ethics behind its use, while on the other hand others have embraced it with open arms. In the last decade since its conception in 2000, cosmetic Botox has been a recurrent fixture in the lives of women who want to maintain the youthful look on their faces through the reduction of facial wrinkles. The use of Botox
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A German physician names Justinus Christian Kerner was the first to investigate the matter. He was the first to postulate botulism and names the toxin ‘sausage poison’ however failed to define what is was. It was not until 1895, when Emile van Ermengem, a Belgian Professor of Bacteriology isolated the bacterium C. botulinum and names the toxin “Bacillus Botulinus”, with “botulus” meaning sausage. He also postulated that botulism toxin was a poison rather than an infection, and that it could be inactivated by heat. In the 1900s, as the food canning industry boomed techniques to prevent botulism by inactivating the toxin by heat were developed. It was then that the distinct serotypes of BoNT were subsequently discovered. The discovery of BoNT’s ability to block neuromuscular transmission in 1949 was led to failed efforts by various parties to exploit BoNT as biological warfare during World War II. It was only three decades later in 1980 when BoNT would be first utilised therapeutically in man when an ophthalmologist Dr Alan B Scott studied the toxin as therapy for strabismus or cross-eyes. In 1989 onabotulinumA (Botox) manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Allergan, was approved for treatment strabismus and blepharospasm in the United States of America (USA). Then in 2002, Botox earned approval in the USA for its…show more content…
This is largely due to off-label use which is defined as use of a drug for an indication that it was not approved for, as long as it was proved safe and beneficial for one specific use. This is legal in the USA. It is not surprising therefore that Botox which produced by major pharmaceutical producer Allergan, generated global income of 2.45 billion in 2015 alone – with a greater part of their global revenue coming from therapeutic rather than cosmetic uses. These off-label indications include using Botox for migraines, back pain, Parkinson disease and depression. Hence although not approved by government specifically for depression, psychiatrists have been prescribing Botox off-label to patients they feel would benefit from it. This warrants more rigorous research so Botox can have the recognition it deserves if found to be useful in depression to be adopted into mainstream
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