onabotulinumtoxinA, Botox, Botox Cosmetic

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is botulinum toxin type A, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

OnabotulinumtoxinA is an injectable neuro-toxin, that is, a toxic chemical that blocks the ability of nerves to make muscles contract. In other words, it paralyzes muscles.

To cause muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical, acetylcholine, where they meet muscle cells. The acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten. OnabotulinumtoxinA prevents the release of acetylcholine and thereby prevents contraction of the muscle cells. In order to affect the release of acetylcholine, onabotulinumtoxinA must be injected into the muscle. OnabotulinumtoxinA was approved by the FDA in December 1991.

What brand names are available for botulinum toxin type A?

Botox, Botox Cosmetic

Is botulinum toxin type A available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for botulinum toxin type A?

Yes

What are the side effects of botulinum toxin type A?

Side effects of onabotulinumtoxinA include:

Patients also complain of pain and tenderness at the injection site. Patients treated for blepharospasm may experience

Those treated for urinary incontinence may experience:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2015

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