GENERIC NAME: onabotulinumtoxinA
BRAND NAME: Botox, Botox Cosmetic
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: 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.
It is injected into the muscles that control the eyeball for treating strabismus (misaligned or lazy eyes) and the muscles of the eyelid for treating blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking) associated with a condition called dystonia.
It also is effective for managing urinary incontinence associated with neurologic conditions such as multiple sclerosis for which it is injected into the muscular bladder wall to prevent involuntary muscular spasm that leads to incontinence (uncontrollable urination). B
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