Kleenex. Hoover. Thermos. What do these all have in common with Botox?
They’re all brand names for different products which became commonly used for other similar products over time. Much like we call any paper tissue a Kleenex now, the same thing happens in the world of Botox!
Botox is actually a brand name for one particular type of the compound used in these injections (collectively known as neuromodulators). There are seven main other forms, based on the same chemical structure, but with different names. There is just so much to know about Botox! Today we’ll talk about some of the different “brands of Botox” – not just Botox itself, but also Dysport, Nuceiva, and Xeomin.
Types of Botox Injections
The grandfather of all the other entries on this list, Botox is the original trademarked compound. Research into its cosmetic and medical effects began in the 1980s, and thanks to this long history, it has the most data to support its effects out of any neuromodulator.
It has the biggest body of literature and studies, and since trials began several decades ago, it has been approved for both cosmetic purposes and many medical conditions like hyperhidrosis, migraines, and temporomandibular jaw disorders. In fact, it has a longer list of condition treatments than any of the other variants, and it can even be prescribed for use in children. This is because the side effects are very well known by now.
One of the downsides of Botox is that it is often described by patients as “heavy”. It is a heavy molecule which can travel relatively far after it has been absorbed, so it’s not the best choice for high-risk areas. Some other brands have smaller molecules, which are absorbed more quickly, work faster, and travel less distance – and feel “lighter” overall.
One of those lighter molecules is found in the brand Dysport, which was one of the first variations of the original research on the botulinum toxin. After some difficulties with patents and rights management, a researcher for the original Botox brand continued working with a different form of the natural toxin and found success in treating some muscle disorders. Trials were successful, and Dysport became a hit in Europe and eventually North America as well.
Since this brand is newer, it doesn’t have quite as much supporting literature or full studies of its effects and complications. However, the studies that do exist show this to be a light and relatively fast-acting form of the compound, which is absorbed rather quickly compared to the original form (usually within 48-72 hours).
Nuceiva, also known by the name Jeuveau in the USA, is another less common (but still widely used) version of the botulinum toxin. It is among the newest on the market – it was only approved for use by Health Canada in the fall of 2019 – but even in that short time, it has made a mark on the industry.
Nuceiva is also a “light” molecule, and as such it can act very quickly after injection (usually around two days). It is used exclusively for cosmetic purposes, such as reducing wrinkles and fine lines on the forehead – it’s not a brand that would be used to treat migraines or muscle disorders. If you have very small, localized trouble spots that need a bit of cosmetic TLC, Nuceiva might be a good choice for you.
The last type of neuromodulator to cover is Xeomin. This is a highly precise and stable form, which stays within a dime-sized area of the injection site (for reference, Botox stays in an area about the size of a quarter, and Dysport a nickel).
This brand also has a unique advantage: it doesn’t trigger the same antibody response that the other brands will. Let’s say you’ve been getting Botox injections for 20 years, always using 100 units. In that span, your body would improve its recognition and metabolism of the injected material, sending antibodies faster in response. This means you will have to use more and more units to treat those same areas.
Xeomin has been created in such a way that your body’s defenses won’t automatically go on high alert – meaning you can use a lower dose of it, even if you have a prior tolerance to Botox, Dysport, or Nuceiva (which are all similar enough to share the same antibody response).
Compared to the other brands, Xeomin has a slower response time of 3-4 days for full effect. It is often used for medical treatment of muscle disorders.
Botox Injections in Calgary
Choosing to get Botox – or a similar treatment – for cosmetic or medical purposes can be a big decision. If you’re curious about giving this proven and effective method a try, contact us to make an appointment to talk about your different options. We’re conveniently located just south of downtown Calgary, on 4th St SW in the Mission/Cliff Bungalow neighbourhood. We look forward to meeting you!