Botulinum injection - What is the difference between Botox and Dysport?

Many patients often ask me what is the difference between BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®. If you are not familiar with these products, let's start by explaining what they both have in common. These are both in the class of injectibles called neuromodulators. That is just a fancy term for injections that affect the release of chemicals from nerve endings to block or alter the effect on nearby muscles. So, in the case of BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport®, they block nerves from stimulating muscles in the area of injection. This is why these products are so effective in removing wrinkles that are more pronounced when activating muscles in the face. Wrinkles that are very evident on the forehead when raising the eyebrows or the "elevens" in between the eyebrows or crow's feet around the eyes can be treated with either of these products and remove those wrinkles temporarily, thus giving you a younger more refreshed look. In general, both products last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Both products are made from botulinum toxin and both come in a bottle as a powder and must be mixed with saline before injecting.

So what are the differences? Both companies obviously argue their product is better based on their differences. I honestly do not know what is and is not true in their literature but I will give you my opinion based on differences I have seen in my patients and what my patients have noticed themselves.

It appears that while BOTOX® Cosmetic takes effect in 1 to 3 days and lasts for 3-6 months, Dysport® takes effect in 2-4 days and lasts for 3-6 months. It may not seem like a big difference and it may not matter to most people but if you have a high school reunion in 1 to 3 days, you may want to go with BOTOX® Cosmetic!

As for price, Dysport® costs a little less but it also requires a little more product to have the same effect as BOTOX® Cosmetic. However, this difference can be eliminated by the amount of saline used to reconstitute or mix with the product. I mix my saline with Dysport® so that it is more potent with each injection and therefore I use the same volume of product for both BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® and therefore they cost the same.

In summary, they are both good products, both work, both are cleared by the FDA, so which should you use? Whichever one is being provided as a promo by your trusted plastic surgeon!

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