"BOTOX" is just one of the brand names of purified Botulinum Toxin-A, a Schedule 4 [Rx only AUS] drug used primarily for medical and cosmetic purposes, to paralyze specific muscles and treat pain or improve the look of skin wrinkles.
I say "BOTOX", because the name is synonymous. I opted for a generic brand called Dysport, which is the same molecule, but about 70% cheaper. Safe to say, enough time has passed for me to notice its effects, so here is my experience!
IT'S A LONG STORY
Okay, first and foremost, I was actually seeing a neurologist to get some injections to aid with my tension headaches and muscle spasms. Turns out that it isn't subsidised under the PBS for that diagnosis, but it is for the debilitating condition of chronic migraines.
I went looking for reasons why Botulinum Toxin is used to treat migraines, and it turns out it is FDA approved for use as a prophylactic treatment, rather than relaxing muscles prone to spasm. I'd have had to pay full price for the drug anyway.
I left the appointment with the advice to switch to Tricyclic Antidepressants to help with my tension headaches. My psychiatrist wasn't too keen, and after him explaining why, I agreed with him.
I ACTUALLY WENT IN FOR A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING
I was hanging around Randwick a lot when my Dad had a hip replacement last year, when I saw an ad for dermal fillers at Evolution Laser Clinic. It was frustrating that I couldn't find an injector who could work with the scarring on my lips in the past, but after sending a few pictures to the team, I heard back from the Registered Nurse/Injector and she said she could work around it. Okay, booked a consult.
During the consult, I mentioned that I had Lupus. Immediately, the supervising doctor said "you need medical clearance". The bad news is that my Rheumatologist said no, initially, but changed his mind at my last appointment and has given me clearance to go ahead.
NOT JUST FOR WRINKLES
One thing I asked about were the botulinum toxin injections for masseters, to which the injector had a feel for and said they were strong. Following that, I asked about a brow lift to help with my hooded eyes. Within 5 minutes, I was back in the room getting the injections. I opted for the Dysport brand because of the price and paid just under $330AUD for the lot.
I put on a brave face and just went for it. It isn't pleasant getting injections, but these were pretty much pin pricks.
My jaw has been giving me grief for at least a decade; I do clench my jaw a lot, and have TMJ disorder. I can't chew my food properly either. It's painful and I've used everything possible to manage it, bar injections.
I was prescribed 10 units in each side, plus a little extra on the left; my problematic side.
The side effect of this injection was slimming of my jawline, not that I had a prominent jawline in the first place.
This is where it gets trivial. I don't have wrinkles on my forehead, but I was showing so much expression that I painfully over-strengthened my procerus, corrugator and frontalis muscles to the point where I got headaches. I've also been wanting blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) to help with my hooded eyes since forever, but I can delay that now.
If I remember correctly, I had about 5 injection sites along my eyebrows, plus two at the top of my forehead. I believe they took 10 units each.
The first few days were bad. I had a very tender face and an undesirable headache. The injector informed me that it would take about a month for me to notice the effects in my jaw, and about 2 weeks for the forehead.
About 3 weeks in, I could not not draw my eyebrows towards each other, my procerus was frozen, and there was no pain. The relief that came with it was immense. My forehead and eyebrow area just stopped hurting.
It took an extra few weeks, but I did notice my jaw slimmed down slightly. I kind of have a little groove between my jawline and my cheekbone. The pain has improved slightly and I am not clenching with my back teeth, however, I think because the other muscles have been worked out, I am clenching with my front teeth.
Because my brow muscles are sitting slightly higher, I can actually do some level of winged liner. Hooded eyes are so annoying for makeup and wings really don't work out for me, but I am glad that I can see a subtle difference in my eye shape.
It's with many thanks to Nurse Sophia at Evolution Laser Clinic Randwick for the excellent service and information. If you're in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, I really recommend seeing her!
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