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Botox or Dysport?

July 21, 2012 - By Dr. Jules Feledy

How Are They Different? How Are They Similar?


Botox is derived from Botulinum Toxin, but Botox is just a brand name. Kind of like how “Kleenex” has become synonymous with tissue paper, most people tend to think of botulinum toxin and Botox as being the same thing. But a competitor exists on the market, called Dysport.

Dysport and Botox both originate from botulinum toxin type A, but there are some subtle differences.

One such difference is the amount of dilution in the medication. A vile of Dysport contains 500 Units of the toxin and 125 micrograms of albumin and is usually diluted to 200 U/ml. Meanwhile, Botox has 100 Units of toxin, 500 micrograms of albumin, and is diluted to 25-50 U/ml. Both medications work the same way, however, by weakening the facial muscles.

Another difference is cost. Botox injections can run anywhere between $300 and $500 each. Dysport, however, is Botox’s competitor, having been FDA for cosmetic purposes relatively recently. Dysport injections typically cost less than Botox injections, topping off at about $300. Competition is healthy, and Dysport’s lower price tag could compel Botox to lower its prices down the road.

A study was performed to compare the two drugs in 2011, and the results showed that Dysport improved the appearance of crow’s feet significantly better than Botox, but these results were only obvious when the patients contracted their facial muscles as much as possible. There was no noticeable difference when muscles were at rest.

Side effects are generally mild-to-non-existent for both drugs, but can include: injection site pain, flu-like symptoms, muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, and more. More severe side effects such as chest pain, trouble swallowing, speech problems, and allergic reactions should be brought to the attention of a physician.

As always, the best way to decide which option is right for you is to consult with your plastic surgeon.

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