What is botulinum toxin?
There are some toxins and vaccines which are protein in nature. Botulinum toxin is one of them and is known basically as a neurotoxin. The toxin is produced by bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium releases the toxin which causes flaccid paralysis of the infected person. After recent research and studies, the toxin is now used and produced commercially for different purposes.
Characteristics of Botulinum toxin
The neurotoxin released by the bacterium is considered extremely lethal with acute fatal effects. The toxin is available in 8 types and named alphabetically from A to H. Out of which the first two are capable of causing disease. The last type or H is considered the deadliest of all. The word “Botox” is the trade name under which the toxin is sold all over the world.
Medical Uses of Botulinum toxin
Despite being deadly, the toxin is used for many reasons in medical sciences. Muscle spasticity is one of the most common reasons for the use of Botox. It is used in all condition that involves overactive muscles for example spasticity that occurs after stroke and spinal cord injury.
- Muscle spasticity
Since the toxin causes flaccid paralysis, it is widely used against diseases that involve overactive muscles causing the increased tone of the limbs or certain groups of muscles. Some of the common conditions in which botulinum toxin is used post spinal cord injury are stroke, spasms of the head and neck and vocal cords, etc. It is also used for the treatment of an overactive bladder, clenching of the anus, and the proper alignment of the eyelids.
- Excessive sweating and migraine
Non-muscular use of the toxin was first demonstrated by David Park and Khalaf Bushara in 1993. They observed the inhibition of sweating by the use of the toxin in England. In 2010 botulinum injections were prophylactically used for the prevention of migraine headaches in chronic migraine patients.
- Cosmetic use of the botulinum toxin
It is the most commonly known use of toxin around the world. Reduction of facial wrinkles is the most cosmetic use of the injection which comes under the name of Botox injection.
Botox consent form
The Botox toxin comes with many cosmetic benefits, but it does not come alone. There are some side effects as well. Bruising, facial asymmetry, under or over-correction, generalized weakness, nausea or headache, and a theoretical risk of virus transmission are some of the most common side effects of the toxin.
So, it is important that the doctor who is carrying out the Botox treatment first takes informed and written consent. All the side effects and contraindications have to be mentioned in the consent form which the patient reads and signs on it. He has to sign an undertaking in which he declares that his doctor has informed him of all the possible consequences of the Botox Injections and that he is willing to go for the injection taking all the responsibility.