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Botox medical uses

Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin A known best as a wrinkle treatment, but it also has medical uses.


Botox injections are an NHS treatment option in parts of the UK to help prevent chronic migraine. Botox may be considered if other treatments are not effective, not well tolerated or cause too many side effects.

The medicines regulator MHRA says there's evidence Botox is effective at preventing headaches in adults with chronic migraines.

The Migraine Trust says Botox may offer a safe and effective preventative treatment option to help people with chronic migraine manage their migraine and improve their quality of life.

Excessive sweating

Botulinum toxin is a treatment option for excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis. It works by blocking signals the brain sends to sweat glands.

Botox injections are given in affected areas, such as the armpits, hands, feet or face.

The procedure can last up to eight months.

Urinary incontinence

Overactive bladder affects up to 20% of people - mainly women - over the age of 40. It is a type of urinary problem whose symptoms include having to pee often (frequency), the need to get up in the night to use the bathroom (nocturia), and wetting accidents before reaching the toilet (incontinence).

A 2012 study published in the journal European Urology found that injecting botulinum toxin A (Botox) into the wall of the bladder is an effective way of treating the debilitating condition in which people have a sudden urge to pass urine. So Botox injections are one option for treating this condition when other treatments have not been effective.

Those treated with Botox in the study saw the number of times that they had symptoms fall from six a day to less than one a day. However, the benefits started to wear off after around six months.

MS and muscle spasms

Botulinum toxin is used to decrease spasticity related to multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. Botox injections may help stop muscles contracting or twitching when the person doesn't want them to.

Tennis elbow

A botulinum toxin injection may reduce the pain from tennis elbow.

Bell's palsy

Bell's palsy causes the drooping of the side of a person's face because of nerve problems. The effect usually goes after some months. However, Botox injections may be used in long-term Bell's palsy to relax muscles that have become tight or to help reduce unwanted muscle movements or twitching.


With strabismus, also known as crossed eyes or a squint, the eyes don't look towards an object together. Botox may be injected into one of the eye muscles as a treatment option, usually if a squint develops rapidly without an obvious cause. The injection weakens the injected muscle for a period of time, which lets the eyes realign themselves.

WebMD Medical Reference

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