How Long Does Botox Remain in Your Body? I'm Getting Contradicting Answers.

I want to know why everyone is giving contradicting information on how botox works. Some plastic surgeons say that Botox leaves the body within 2 days of injecting it. And others say it wears off after 4 - 6 months. What is the truth? If it leaves the body quickly how can the effect last? As I understood the toxin has to remain to block the nerve communication? So how long does the toxin stay in the body and how does it REALLY work!?

Doctor Answers 12

How Botox works

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Botox (and other botulinum products such as Dysport and Xeomin) blocks the connection between the nerve and the muscle where it is injected. Once this change occurs, the Botox does not need to remain and it is cleared by the body. The duration of the effect is related to the healing time for the body to restore the connection between the nerve and muscle, and this varies with different parts of the body. That is why for example the effect lasts longer for excess sweating in the armpits than for facial wrinkles.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Botulinum toxin permanently binds in the terminal end plates of affected nerves.

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However, these end plates have a finite life before they are replaced.  This is why botulinum toxin eventually wears off.  There is a statistically effect that is dependent on the rate these end plates are replaced so the effect actually wear off gradually by 120 days it is said that all of the effect is gone.  In fact there does seem to be some muscle retraining that comes into effect so this will have a bearing on when you subjectively feel the treatment has worn off.  Also sometime not enough treatment is provided leading to an impression that the treatment "did not last."

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

Botox and longevity

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Botox doesn't leave the body in just a few days, but has been studied to last around 90 days. View their website link below for full details on longevity and efficacy of cosmetic Botox.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

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How Does Botox Really Work?

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Botox is most commonly used for wrinkle reduction in the forehead, glabella (area between the eyebrows), and crows feet. It works to relax the contraction of muscles by blocking nerve impulses. Because these muscles can no longer contract, the wrinkles smooth out and soften.

Botox usually takes effect within 3-5 days and lasts 3-6 months. These time frames can vary from patient to patient based on the amount of Botox used. The longer you have been getting Botox treatments, the less product you will require. The muscles become smaller with disuse and thus the wrinkles return improved and smaller amounts of product can be used to achieve a smoother rejuvenated appearance.

Scott Farber, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Botox mechanism of action is well understood.

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Botox is a protein that blocks the transmission of nerve signals to muscles. It temporarily weakens the muscle that it is injected into. The drug's effect is evident at about the 7-10 day point after injection and should last 4-5 months, based on the amount of toxin injected and other factors.

Duration of Botox effect

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Depends on the bulk of the muscle and how fast your body metabolizes the Botox. I typically see that it lasts 3-4 months for cosmetic injections and hyperhidrosis. I have seen it last 9 months in 1 patient when injectted for hyperhidrosis (1 in 1,000).

How long do the results of Botox last?

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Botox lasts for 3 months on average, and the amount of time it lasts depends on the patient. It paralyzes the muscles in a given area, causing wrinkles to smooth. It is important to choose an experienced and board certified physician to perform the injections. A board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or facial plastic surgeon are all great choices. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

How long does Botox last and how does Botox work

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You're comparing the actual toxin (with the protein attached) vs. the lasting effects. And these aren't the same thing. Attached is a video - from Allergan - on how Botox works.

Botox Longevity Varies

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The period of time that Botox effects last vary from person to person.  The main factor is the amount of animation of the muscle(s) injected.  The more muscle activity to shorter the duration.  The average would be 4-6 months.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

BoTox duration

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BoTox, and all forms of Botulinum Toxin A, work by blocking the reuptake of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction.  By doing so, it inhibits transmission of signals from one neuron to the next at whichever junction it is working on (e.g., neuro junction, sweat gland junction, etc.)  The duration of BoTox is typically 3-4 months on average.  It can take up to 7 days for it to take effect.  Thank you for the question!  Hope this helps!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.