What is Botox made of?

Botox is essentially a drug made from a neurotoxin (a pollutant which acts on the nervous system). This neurotoxin protein is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum called botulinum toxin (this may sound quite scary but allow us to explain why it is not).

The scientific, non-branded name for Botox is onabotulinumtoxinA. Which is actually one of seven different botulinum toxin strains that are produced from the bacterium (an anaerobic, rod shaped, spore forming bacterium that produces a protein with a neurotoxicity characteristic). Before you ask, yes botulism is a rare illness, and no we do not inject the illness into your body!

Botox contains very tiny amounts of the highly purified botulinum toxin protein, refined from the bacterium (a bacterium that was first identified in 1895). Botox itself is manufactured by growing the bacteria and then purifying it to remove bacterial substances. However, Botox is still a toxin with a goal to paralyse muscles in order to reduce wrinkles: there’s a reason not to go searching for ‘cheap’ Botox. If it’s too good to be true, it generally is, and when injected (really) wrongly by an untrained individual, it could lead to botulism-like side effects.

Here at General Facial Aesthetics, we use only the best products, and it is always administered by a trained, professional doctor who have a full understanding of facial muscles and the different procedures.

There are many different types of Botox on the market. The main one we use here is called Azzalure which is a local muscle relaxant adapted from the botulinum toxin type A of Dysport* and is specifically designed for use in aesthetic indications (*Azzalure is the brand name for the product when sold in Europe, it is known as Dysport for the rest of the world, they are one and the same). Azzalure is very similar to Botox, and it is owned by Galderma, a huge pharmaceutical company with a good reputation. It was sold by Nestle is 2019 so be rest assured, it is a trusted company and a trusted product. People generally use the word Botox when referring to the many similar products, although Botox is the registered trademark of the company Allergan. And let’s be honest, onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) or abobotulinumtoxinA (Azzalure) is rather difficult to say (and sell).

In 2002 Botox earned FDA approval for wrinkles, this was the first time a pharmaceutical drug was given approval for strictly cosmetics purposes. However, it was originally given approval in 1989 in order to treat two rare eye muscle disorders.

As you can see, Botox has been used for years, we know the safe dosages, we know the side effects, we know how to use it to its desired effect, and it is even more frequent now as it can be used as a preventative for wrinkles too!

Of course, if you have any further questions about Botox, do not hesitate to contact us!