Botox - Historical Facts
Botox, a neurotoxin secreted by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, was initially used to treat eye disorders, when it was discovered that it could be used for cosmetic purposes.
The effects of food- borne botulism has been described since the 19th century. The condition derives its name from ‘botulus’ meaning ‘sausage’ in Latin, as it was usually associated with spoiled sausage in the earlier times.
‘Botulism’ is a kind of food poisoning that occurs when food contains a neurotoxin released by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum.
Even a small teaspoon of these bacteria have the potential to destroy a small city, hence all the initial research involving Clostridium botulinum was carried out in the military settings of the US, to employ these bacteria in germicidal warfare.
Botulinum Toxins are one of the most poisonous group of drugs known to man. Seven serologically distinct types of toxins, A to G, have been identified. Only type A and B are used for clinical purposes. Botox is the trade name for Botilinum toxin A.
While treating these eye disorders with Botox, the doctors noticed that the frown lines or ‘furrows’, which formed between the eyes making people look angry or tired, softened and soon disappeared. This dramatically changed a person’s look from one of constant anger or sadness to one of contentment and calm.
In April 2002, Botox gained the FDA’s approval to be used for cosmetic purposes. Ever since the FDA approved its use in cosmetology, Botox has gained popularity as a non-surgical procedure for removing wrinkles and rejuvenating the facial skin, making it appear fresh and youthful.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), Botox injections are the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in the industry .It is more popular than breast enhancement and is considered as the ultimate fountain of eternal youth by many.
The role of Botox in the treatment of various medical disorders has also been widely recognized and lot of research in this area is being carried out.
The drug is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Allergan and is available as ‘Botox’ in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, UK and USA. In France, UK and USA it is available as ‘Dysport’ a functionally identical drug to Botox. Dysport cannot be used in the treatment of cerebral palsy or in children.
Botox is approved in the treatment of adults within the age of 18-65 years.
The treatment costs around £200. In India it is available at the cost of more than Rs.15, 000 per vial.