Are There Ever Occasions In Which Botox Just Doesn't Work?

I (live in Ireland) flew over to the UK this weekend to get the Botox jaw reduct. prodecure done.The doctor told me that I have quite a large masseter muscle and therefore would be perfect for the treatment. 2 days later I still feel a bit of numbness in the area but otherwise OK. But I put a lot of hope into this and now I'm starting to worry..what if it won't work? I know it'll take a while but what if nothing changes? How would I know if I was one the rare cases where Botox just doesn't work?

Doctor Answers 10

Botox rarely is not successful relaxing the muscle

The Botox rarely doesn't accomplish relaxation of the desired muscle, unless the technique is such that a more targeted approach would reach the muscle better. The question, is, if the muscle is relaxed, is it always successful to have the skin creases go away, or if it is the masseter muscle that was injected, to see if the cheek developes a new contour that pleases you. The jaw line may stay unaffected.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Effectiveness of Botox

Botox is a wonderful product when injected by a qualified injector. I have seen it take up to about 10 days to be fully effective, but it usually does work faster in patients the very first time it's done as your body sees it as something new. Make sure you always see a qualified injector - I always recommend a board-certified physician.

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

Botox for Masseter Hypertrophy

It usually takes 7-14 days for the Masseter muscle to respond to Botox injections.  The improvement in shape will be gradual and you should see the maximum results one-3 months after the Botox treatment.  I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel 

Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Botox effectiveness

It is rare for botox to be ineffective. Typically, what can happen is that you can get an incomplete effect requiring additional botox injections but if it is injected into the target muscle, it is generally effective within two weeks.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Rarely botox not effective

i am convinced that very, very rarely i have treated patients where botox has not been very effective or perhaps not even worked at all. for the great majority however, it is a great product!

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Expectations with Botox for Jaw Line

It would appear that your injector did not provide you with adequate information with regards to expectations and your treatment plan.  

For example, treating the Masseter muscle to soften the jaw line will usually take most patients on average two treatments spaced 3-4 months apart before a noticeable change.  We rely on before/after photos to help gauge progress with each visit, and we suggest you do the same as the changes will be gradual and progressive - very differant than treating frown lines.

If you are not seeing the expected results in your treatment plan, you may not be receiving adequate dosing for this are which is more likely than a resistance.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Does botox ever not work?

As you can see - try to be patient!  2 days is not long enough for full activity of Botox.  You may need to wait at least 7-10 days to notice the effect of the treatment. 

Michelle A. Spring, MD, FACS
Missoula Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Very rare

If this is the first time you've gotten Botox, I can't imagine it not working!  Please remember that it will take up to 10 days to see a result, so try to be patient.  The only time I have seen Botox not work is in 2 patients who never had a response, and in 2 other patients who had been using it for over a decade in large doses and then failed to respond - these two had  probably developed antibodies.  This is compared to thousands of patients in whom it does work. 

Laura E. Skellchock, MD (in memoriam)
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


I often see patients that don't respond for up to 10 days. Most people who don't  seem to respond wrere either underdosed or poorly injected. Be sure to see a qualified doctor

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

It is hard to be patient.

Botox takes about 3 weeks fore maximal effect.  I would recommend having someone take a good photo of your face right now and compare this image to one taken in about 3 weeks.  This will help you understand what this treatment does.  Of course, if there is no difference, it is unlikely that BOTOX did not work.  It is much more likely that you simply did not get enough.

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.