Is Botox Safe for Patient Who Had Guillain-Barré?

I have an older friend who had Guillain-Barré and wants to get Botox. If this is unsafe, what are his other options?

Doctor Answers 9

Botox with neuromuscular disorder

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Botox is clearly contraindicated in individuals with a history of Guillan-Barre syndrome.  Your friend should avoid anyone who would be willing to inject a neurotoxin with his history of a neuromuscular disease.

Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon

I would NOT recommend Botox patient who had Guillain-Barré

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As complicated as our immune system is, we still do not understand the exact pathophysiology of Guillain-Barré. No one knows what are the consequences of botulinum toxin injection into a Guillain-Barré patient, whose immune systems is very disturbed. Is it possible that Botulinum toxin injection may benefit such patients? It may but we do not know.

Isabel Zhu, MD, PhD
Boulder Dermatologist

Say no to BOTOX if you had Gillian-Barré

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The simple answer is NO! Allergan clearly places on it's product labeling that BOTOX certain neuromuscular diseases. Gillian-Barré is one of the diseases on that list. Hope this helpful.

Dr. ES

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NO Botox for patient who had Guillain-Barré

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Simple answer to your question is NOOO!!! Very risky event. So again do not do this Botox treatment ever! Any doctor willing to inject you with your medical history is preforming malpractice. Please be careful.

Botox is UNsafe for patient who had Guillain-Barré

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Botox treatments are strictly contraindicated in patients with neuromuscular disorders.  Guillian Barre syndrome is a disease that affects the neuromuscular system. It can be worsened by Botox. Your friend might benefit from fillers. They can be safely used in Guillian Barre patients. Good luck!

Botox and Guillain-Barre

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I would not treat a patient who has a diagnosis of Guillain Barre. There might be a neurologic disease that could safely have the treatment with Botox, such as some cases with multiple sclerosis if the treating neurologist approves the low dose skin use of the botulinum toxin. It must be a team approach of the injecting physician and neurologist discussing the patient care.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Botox not recomended in Guillain-Barré

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Botox would not be recommended for Guillain-Barré. Botox is a neuromuscular blocker and Guillain-Barré is a neuromuscular disorder. Botox has been used safely and successfully for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, another neuromuscular disorder when they suffer from excessive salivation. I can find no documented use in Guillain-Barré syndrome.

For a patient with Guillain-Barré syndrome that wishes cosmetic improvment in frown lines I recommend direct excsion of the frown muscles via the upper eyelids, or from the hairline. The GFX treatment is an alternative and uses electrical stimulation followed by radiofrequency ablation to the nerves which cause frowning.

Good luck.

Botox use in Guillan-Barre Syndrome

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Botox should NOT be used in any neuromuscular diseases (disease that affects your muscles and nerves) such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease], myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome.

From the NIH website - "Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the patient is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases, the disorder is life-threatening and is considered a medical emergency. The patient is often put on a respirator to assist with breathing. Most patients, however, recover from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, although some continue to have some degree of weakness. Guillain-Barré syndrome is rare. ...The recovery period may be as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years. About 30 percent of those with Guillain-Barré still have a residual weakness after 3 years. About 3 percent may suffer a relapse of muscle weakness and tingling sensations many years after the initial attack. "

Botox acts by irreversibly attaching and blocking the muscle receptors where the nerves send their impulses. For this reason people with disorders of the muscle receptors (myasthenia, ALS Lambert-Eaton) are much more susceptible to even small doses of Botox.

In Guillan-Barre the nerves are injured (lose their ability to conduct) but the receptors are normal. As such the use of Botox in anyone with active or residual Guillan-Barre even tough it could logically be safe would be indefensible from a legal point of view, especially if done for a cosmetic reason.

Other options would depend on what exactly was bothering your friend.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Botox is specifically not recommended.

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Guillain-barre is one of the specific neuromuscular conditions where Botox should not be done. However there is a big difference between Gillain-Barre that is active versus resolved. Your friend should discuss her current status with her neurologist regard her current status.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.