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How Long Does Botox Last?

How long does Botox last? What determines how long it will work for me?

Doctor Answers 156

MANY factors determine length of Botox effectiveness.

Botox works by irreversibly binding to receptors that send nerve signals for muscles to contract. But, since your body makes new receptors and neurotransmitters all the time, each patient will have different lengths of effective paralysis. 2-6 months is the range; average is 3-4 months. But wait, there's more!

To complicate the matter further, Botox (and Dysport, another company's botulinum toxin) is a labile protein, meaning it is sensitive to heat, excessive agitation, and time. Careful reconstitution, use while fresh, and keeping it refrigerated is essential. Beware offices or spas that advertise Botox days (especially if it's Friday)--they are simply trying to use up their reconsituted Botox so it won't sit over the weekend and lose effectiveness. Particularly beware of Monday morning Botox in such centers!

Then there's the skill and accuracy of the injector. Since Botox works where it's placed, simply shooting in a blob of liquid Botox in the general vicinity of the target muscle is a waste (of your money)! The most experienced injectors are plastic surgeons who actually operate on the target muscles in patients having forehead or brow lifts, facelifts, and eyelid surgeries. In my humble opinion, non-surgeon doctors and nurses can become experienced Botox injectors over time without operating on these areas, but consider who is best trained and experienced in the anatomy of the treatment areas.

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 169 reviews

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Botox Cosmetic lasts 3 to 6 months

Botox Cosmetic lasts a variable amount in each person. I usually tell my patients that it will last somewhere between 3 and 6 months.

People with heavier frown lines tend to have stronger muscles and in turn tend to see the motion of the muscle return quicker than those with less bulky muscles in the area between the brows. In some men and even some women with prominent muscles, it may only last 2-3 months.

You will typically see a return of the movement of the muscle prior to the deepening of the furrows caused by the contraction of that muscle. At that time, it is best to get back in for another treatment of Botox Cosmetic. This way you are not letting the furrows or lines to continue to worsen.

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Number of Units of Botox needed? "Depends"

Botox can last typically 3-4 months. The results may longer-lasting if more units are used.

The number of units not the volume injected that has direct correlation with the effectiveness of your Botox injections.

Your  Plastic Surgeon can also create longer lasting results if you have these muscles injected regular lay. This is because the Botox will have more impact on the muscles that are still not fully active. Also, you learn to animate and use different muscles. This also makes your result more pleasing.

Hope this is helpful.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Botox duration depends on patient and chronic usage

Botox generally last 3-4 months but this is not entirely accurate.  Patients new to Botox will generally start to see a return of paralyzed muscles at 6 weeks.  I recommend a touch up for new users at about this time.  After the touch up they generally get 4 months of effect.  I generally recommend every fourth month treatments for the first 2 years.  Once the muscles have but habitually paralyzed it will take less Botox and less frequent injections.  There are many patients who only get Botox twice a year once they have been using the product for many years.

How Long Does Botox Last?

When injected properly by a board-certified dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon at an acceptable dilution and with proper technique, Botox should last about four to five months.  Occasionally it may last a little longer than 5 months, but it should last at least four months. We offer all our Botox patients a courtesy follow up visit at 1-2 weeks after the initial treatment to check the areas and see if any additional Botox is needed (at no additional cost). Patients really appreciate this. Click on the link below for before and after photos of patients receiving Botox for dynamic wrinkling. 

Botox lasts until you want more

Hello! Initially getting injected, most patients notice movement resuming 2-4 months later. However, the cosmetic effects do not simply dissolve overnight, and your skin condition and muscle strength, as well as habits like scowling, impact the longevity or at least dictate when you will likely want more. The longer you use Botox, the longer most patients can go between injections. Keeping up with the injections on a regular basis also usually means less Botox will be required at the next injection (if your muscle is still slightly weak). Good luck!

Catherine Winslow, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Botox and Dysport duration

I have found that when my patients first start using Botox or Dyport, they typically return for treatment about every 3-4 months. However, with time, they are able to stretch out their injections to 6 months or more as they retrain themselves not to make the repetitive facial motions (such as frowning) which create the wrinkles in the first place. Be sure to consult with a reputable facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, or dermatologist to ensure that you are being treated with the appropriate dosage, dilution, and in the correct treatment areas. Don't be afraid to ask how many units your physician is using per area. 

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Botox duration of action ranges between 3-6 months

When you request a Botox treatment, you should probably ask how many units you are receiving and how the bottle was reconstituted or mixed. This info will allow you to predict how long the blockade will remain. For individuals who have a moderate thickness of their scowl muscles the blockade can be 3-4 months. Other individuals whose forehead lines are very fine can occasionally get up to 6 months. It also depends on how much you exercise. I have extremely fit patients who are "gym rats", doing hard cardio 5-6x/week. The uniformly report that the longevity of botox is lower. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Botox Duration

The length of time that Botox will last depends on a number of factors including:

  • How it is mixed
  • The patient's physical responsiveness to the product
  • The method that Botox is injected
  • How it is stored

For most patients, it will last 3-4 months.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

How long does Botox last?

The average length of time that Botox remains effective is 4 months. That said, I have a few patients who swear it wears off after 2-3 months and others who see the effect for more like 5-6 months. 

Which category you fall into can depend on how strong your muscles are, how diluted the Botox is when it is mixed, and how long you have been getting Botox. With regular use of Botox over many years (meaning you don't let full muscle movement come back before getting more), your muscles may weaken, and some patients can either use less or go for longer periods of time between injections. 

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.