How to Mitigate the Risks of Non-cosmetic Use of Botox?

I'm considering Botox for neck muscle spasms. My neurologist is a leading authority on the non-cosmetic use of Botox. I'm apprehensive, though, because I know Botox has very serious risks associated with non-cosmetic use. I also have a few allergies and I'm afraid I may be allergic to Botox. Can an allergy test be performed beforehand? Are there any other ways to mitigate risk? Can I start with a very low dose and work up to a therapeutic level? Thank you so much for your suggestions.

Doctor Answers 6

Botox for neck spasms is ideal

Botox used therapeutically for neck spasms is very successful and an experienced neurologist should do it because he/she can get it approved through insurance as it would be quite expensive otherwise. As well, your concerns about allergic reactions to this product is unfounded and extremely rare.

Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

How to Mitigate the Risks of Non-cosmetic Use of Botox?

 The high dose required for some non-aesthetic Botox treatments is most likely the cause of the reported complications.  An experineced neurologist should be able to use a test dose as a limited treatment however, having an allergic reaction to Botox is quite rare IMHO.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Non cosmetic use for Botox

Botox was first used for muscle spasms before it was approved for a cosmetic use. A neurologist would be the correct physician to consult when using Botox for neck muscle spasm.

Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Risks of non-cosmetic use of Botox

Although I think your Neurologist would be better suited to answer questions about the manner and dosing in which Botox will be used, the risk of allergy from Botox is incredibly small.  In fact, I have never seen it in 12 years of practice and 7 years of training.  Botox, as long as it is used in therapeutic doses, is a wonderful treatment for functional and cosmetic purposes. 

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Botox and risks

Your questions are appropriate for your neurologist and/or another for a second opinion.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Mitigating risks of Botox

First, you are doing something right by going to an expert, and of course a physician. Many risks with anything can be mitigated by going to properly trained and experienced doctors. Second, Botox was originally intended for non-cosmetic purposes and studies on it for non-cosmetic purposes are well-documented and have been since the 1980s, or even earlier. The cosmetic purposes are obviously much more discussed, but Botox is absolutely a wonderful procedure for many "non-cosmetic purposes". In my nearly two decades of using Botox, I've had one patient who "thought" she was allergic to it. She was actually sensitive to the numbing cream and NOT the Botox though. The number of people who are truly allergic to Botox are so minimal that really, that shouldn't be a big concern to you. However, if it is, you can have a tiny bit of the product injected somewhere - arm, behind the ear, etc. No matter where it's injected or how small a dosage is injected, you will have a response if you're indeed allergic to it. There's not really going to be a reason to start with smaller doses and work up to a more therapeutic dosage simply because you're not going to get any result and you will blow your money for no reason. If you don't do the proper dosage you won't get results. Discuss all of your concerns with your physician.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 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.