How Long After a "Botox Brow Lift" Does It Take Corrugator Muscles to Regain Full Strength?

I've been told 3 to 4 months for Botox to wear off, in some cases less time than that. However I was wondering what to expect during that time frame. Whether that's when the muscle is back to normal, or if that's only when some strength begins to return to it? I'm ultimately concerned about when I'll be able to move the inside of my eyebrows on my own.

Doctor Answers 16

How long before Botox to forehead effects wear off?

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 Botox effects last between 3-4 months and the duration is affected by the dose of Botox that was injected.  The supercilli muscles are weakened with a glabellar Botox injection and will slowly return to their normal function within the 3-4 month timeframe.  Actively attempting to contract the forehead (frown) will speed up the process and cause new neoromuscular junctions to form more rapidly.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Botox longevity

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Your brow function will return completely anywhere between 3 and 6 months.  You will notice slow return of some muscle function before this.  Most patients return for treatment before the effects of Botox are completely reversed in order to maintain brow shape and prevent further wrinkling.

Elizabeth Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Botox begins like a light switch, ends like a dimmer switch

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Botox commonly takes effect within 5-7 days after treatment. It is similar to a light switch turning off the electricity to the lights. Then over the course of 3-4 months, the Botox effect is like a dimmer switch, slowly returning function to the forehead. Often people note the return of movement long before all the Botox has worn off, and patients often return to maintain the full effect during that time. At 4-6 months most of the effect is gone.Botox is dose dependent as well, that is, the more you put in the muscle the longer it lasts as well.

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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How does the effect of Botox wear off?

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Botox works by binding to a receptor in the muscle to block nerve impulses.  Once it is bound, the receptor stops working and nerve impulses to the muscle fail to cause the muscle to contract.  This process does not reverse.  What happens is that the body makes new receptors.  Once enough new receptors are in place, the muscle will start contracting, first weakly, and then with greater strength until it reaches full strength.  What this means is that the speed at which function returns is dependent on how fast you make new receptors.  So if your body is good at making receptors, Botox will wear off quickly, if you're not, then Botox will last a long time.  The average time is 4 months.  In this case, it's good to be slow.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

Botox returning to full strength

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Over the 3-4 month time frame, your muscles slowly return to normal. However, the rate at which it returns really depends on the individual. 

Full function returns around 4 months after Botox

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Granted, some patients will have less duration of effectiveness  than others while some will note that the botox will work longer than four months but this is rare and not much longer. When patients tell me there botox is still working between the eyebrows and its been six months and I ask them to scrunch their eyebrows together, I see full function. What happens is that many individuals are able to retrain their habits while having the effect of Botox and when it wears off they train themselves not to frown so on a day-to-day basis they notice that there lines stay away.

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

When do frown lines return after Botox?

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Most patients demonstrate approximately 3-4 months duration of effects.  However, those that consistently use Botox or Dysport will begin to benefit from a longer duration as the muscles begin to cooperate and require less treatments.

Contrary to what some mistakenly believe, the effects gradually wear off over time so as to continue to lend to a natural appearance.  Effects of the treatment will not dissipate over night.  

If a patient is not obtaining the mininum length of duration for optimal outcomes, they should consider that the problem may be with technique or dosing.



Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Botox Brow Lift

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In about 4 months, the Botox would probably need to be repeated to maintain optimal lifting of the brow.  With that said, many people find that the more treatment series they have, the larger the interval needed between sessions -- with habitual use of Botox, it's possible that the brow lifting effect may last several months longer.

Deborah Sarnoff, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox longevity

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Usually Botox will last about 3-4 months but by about 4 months, the muscle function is pretty close to normal.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How long does Botox work

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I've found that gradually, over 2-5 months (average is 3 months), you will notice a slow return of function.    This depends on the location, the product used, and the dose.   Eventually you will have full function of the muscles involved.  (Over many treatment cycles, the results may last longer).  

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.