Botox - units vs. number of injections? How does it work?

I am interested in injections to my masseter muscles for a slimmer jawline. I was quoted around 10-50 units per side. My friend, who regularly gets botox injections (in a different country), tells me she gets 3 shots per side. I'm a little confused - is each injection considered a sum of the units ? So if you get 3 shots per side, then the cost would be $XX * # of units * # of injections? Or are the units already set and the injections are just the entire mixture spread out?

Doctor Answers 11

Masseter and Botox

the units state the total dose used to treat the area and the number of injection sites into the masseter divides the total dose into the number of sites, usually either 5 or 3

Nashville Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Volume and Concentration

It is a function of the concentration (#units/volume).  A doctor can deliver the same number of units in a small volume (concentrated) and the same number of units in a lesser volume (diluted).  Depending upon the effect your doctor wants to inject he/she may inject with a few injections or many injections.  Hope this answers your questions. 

Elliot Duboys, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

Botox units

Thank you for your question. The number of units is referring to the amount of Botox used and does not reflect the number of injections.

Kathleen Morno, MD
Highland Park Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Botox dosing

You are right in that Botox units do not reflect the number of injections.  Botox comes in powder form, and must be reconstituted with saline (salt water) to become an injectable substance.  Lower volumes result in higher concentration of Botox, but for a larger muscle like the masseter I, as well as some other physicians, prefer Botox that's a bit more dilute--to cover a greater surface area.  I also inject the masseter in 3-5 sites, depending on where the greatest muscle activity is.  Neither volume nor number of injection sites reflect the number of Botox units injected; the dose (total units used) is recommend by your treating physician; it is also not uncommon to inject the masseter and follow-up in 4-6 weeks to see if more Botox is needed.  I hope the above information is helpful.  The bottom line for successful treatment is a well-trained and experienced provider with whom you develop a good relationship.  Good luck!

Inessa Fishman, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Botox units and injections

Good question as this can be confusing especially with the different pricing models among different providers.  I would think of botox strength (and cost) in terms of units.  10-50 per side for masseter injection is a reasonable dosage range, with the higher end of that being more common.  The number of injections is simply how the provider chooses to spread out the prescribed number of units, as it is rare that you would want all 50 units put into one portion of the muscle, and this typically does not have much to do with the cost.  The most common pricing model is a certain amount of dollars per unit injected.  That being said, some providers will charge a flat fee for certain areas to be treated.

John Harbison, MD
Omaha Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Botox dosing

Botox units are the measurement of the amount of botulinum used.  This is the dosage of Botox.  The number of injections and the dilution of the product depends on the doctor's technique and preference as well as patient characteristics.  The amount used and the number of injections will vary greatly. But 10-15 units for masseter muscles is a good start.  If more is necessary, more units can be added in 2-3 weeks.  Keep in mind that best results from masseter injections is delayed by a few months unlike treatment of forehead lines.

Kyle Coleman, MD
New Orleans Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Botox and Masseter Muscle

The total amount of Botox (units) used determines the amount and not the number of injections in the area.  Botox in this area works extremely well for facial slimming and is a great procedure.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Botox shot is typically 2.5 units

while half shots and other dosing variation can be used to tailor a result to a patient's muscle tendencies, a full shot of Botox is always 2.5 units

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Botox injection

Botox pricing is usually based on the total # of units of Botox injected. Most patients for masseter injections require 20-25 units per masseter muscle. The # of injections is not relevant to the pricing.

Shaun Patel, MD
Miami Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Units versus number of injections for Botox

Thank you for your question pokemongoo. The number of units and number of injections is a common cause for confusion for many people. It is important to understand how Botox is prepared. It comes as a powder dried in 100 units or 50 unit vials. The manufacturer recommends reconstituting 100 units in 2.5 cc of saline. In this way each 0.1 cc contains four units. Different amounts can be injected. For example an injection can be 0.1 cc, which would be four units. Alternatively a larger injection of 0.2 cc would provide eight units. A common technique to treat the masseter is three 8-unit injections per side, for 24 units per side, 48 units total. Some injectors prefer to make more injections with lower dose per injection; this works well to spread the Botox and increase precision. The most important thing to remember is to not get caught up with the number of injections. It is the number of units that is important. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.