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Botox is an injectable medicine used to treat a variety of conditions, from wrinkles and frown lines to severe underarm sweating to crossed eyes. The drug is actually a toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, and it works by decreasing the nerve signals that are sent to muscles. Botox is only available by prescription. Side effects include droopy eyelids, difficulty swallowing, and neck pain.

What Is Botox?

Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA, previously known as botulinum toxin type A) is a prescription injection that is approved to:
  • Temporarily improve the appearance of wrinkles between the eyebrows (frown lines) and crow's feet 
  • Relieve neck pain and abnormal head position associated with cervical dystonia (a certain kind of muscle spasms of the head and neck)
  • Treat severe underarm sweating that has not responded to other treatments
  • Treat eyelid twitching or spasms (known medically as blepharospasm)
  • Treat misaligned eyes, such as crossed eyes (known medically as strabismus)
  • Prevent chronic migraines
  • Treat upper limb spasticity
  • Treat leakage of urine (urinary incontinence) in adults with overactive bladder due to neurologic disease, such as multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury
  • Treat overactive bladder symptoms in people who have found other overactive bladder medications ineffective or intolerable.
The generic name for Botox was changed from "botulinum type A" to "onabotulinumtoxinA" to help prevent confusion and mix-ups between Botox and other similar botulinum type A products.
(Click Botox Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Botox is made by Allergan Pharmaceuticals.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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