Botulism’s Trip to Becoming Botox
After WWII, research focused on using botulism for medical purposes. Dr. Alan Scott, an ophthalmologist, injected the toxin into some monkeys to see if the muscle relaxing effect would alleviate crossed eyes. After successful tests on the animals in the 1960s, he received FDA approval to test the medicine on humans in 1978. A few years later, his tests were complete and the results were positive. The injections did help with crossed eyes and appeared to have no side effects. He named his medicine Botox, and Allergan bought the rights to make and distribute the medicine.
As more doctors began using Botox to treat patients’ crossed eyes and eyelid spasms, one Canadian eye doctor noticed that the patients she treated were seeing a visible decrease in frown lines a short time after the injections. As word spread, Allergan struggled to keep up with the increased demand. By 2000, the FDA approved Botox as a treatment for neck and shoulder spasms. Two years later, Botox Cosmetic received FDA approval for reduction of frown lines.
The Latest News from the FDA
In the 11 years since Botox Cosmetic won approval to treat frown lines, cosmetic surgeons have used Botox to treat many issues ranging from frown lines to excessive sweating. Most recently, the FDA completed studies and approved the use of Botox Cosmetic for crow’s feet. It found that Botox Cosmetic does reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and has minimal side effects, the most common being swelling following the injection.