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.

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.

PRESCRIBED FOR: OnabotulinumtoxinA is used for the treatment of chronic migraine, axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the armpits), and spasticity of the upper arms.

It also is used for cervical dystonia (spasm of the muscles of the neck) to reduce the abnormal head position and neck pain caused by the muscular spasm.

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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2015

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