Why Isn't my Botox Working As It Has in the Past?

I had botox 12 days ago, focusing on the "T" area. I purchased 40 units. The most visible "T" line is still very pronounced. I do botox to prevent - my lines are not deep. The Botox was performed by a board certified surgeon, so I trusted him. I am really upset. Do I have any recourse here? After purchasing 40 units, I feel this doctor should be held responsible for making sure the procedure worked. I have treated this area before with great results. This is the first time I used this doctor.

Doctor Answers 11

Botox Not Working

There is no real way to answer this question other than there may be some variance in technique between injectors and/or storage, dilution, and technique between injectors.  generally speaking, 40 units of Botox should be sufficient to treat the glabella and horizontal forehead lines. I encourage you to discuss your concerns with your Surgeon.  If you aren't satisfied, you might want to consider returning to your previous injector.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Botox Not Working As It Has in the Past

Before you get upset, speak with your injector. While your current injector may or may not be as skilled as your previous injector, there are also other factors to consider. You will need to ensure that the prior treatment utilized the same number of units so you are comparing treatments fairly. Moreover, if the treatment has not been performed recently, your muscles may now be requiring more units than in the past.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Botox for the T line

Please return to your surgeon to express your concern.  I'm certain he would want to know  and would try his best to give you a good result.  He can reinject you since it is possible the Botox you had was inactive (it can rarely happen) or you may need to be switched to another neuromodulator if Botox is no longer working for you.  Give him a chance and if you are still unhappy, see another specialist.  

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

See your doctor if the botox didn't work

Before too much time goes by, it is worthwhile to see the treating physician if your Botox treatment hasn't worked. Try not to let more than one month pass before seeing them. It is best to try to see the doctor between two and four weeks. Less than a week is not enough time to allow the Botox to take peak effect and close to three months is the time that is wearing off in most patients.  Your doctor can examine you and determine why their treatment wasn't successful. It can take one or two treatments for a doctor to get to learn your unique anatomy and give you an ideal treatment. Most doctors would want you to be happy with your result and would want to see if you if are displeased.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Xeomin May Work For People No Longer Responding To Botox

It is very difficult to know, especially in the case of switching from one doctor to another, what precisely may be contributing to non-responsiveness to Botox in someone who has previously responded well to such treatments. If differences in injection technique and placement, and variations in dilutions can be excluded, it is theoretically plausible that antibodies may have formed to some of the proteins that are typically bound to Botox in the manufacturing process. 

I was one of the first physicians in the United States to use Botox for aesthetic purposes back in 1991. On a number of occasions in the course of these past more than two decades I have encountered individuals who in the past responded beautifully to Botox but who subsequently lost their excellent responsivity to the product despite the lack of any changes in technique, dosage or dilution--a phenomenon suspected, though not proven, to be due to the development of antibodies against the Botox

In the past little could be done for such individuals. Today, I simply switch these people to the one of the two other currently FDA-approved forms of neuromodulators: Dysport and Xeomin. Xeomin has the advantage of being manufactured free of the proteins commonly attached to the Botox molecule. Since it is these proteins, rather than the active neuromodulator itself, that is believed responsible for promoting antibody formation, Xeomin offers the theoretic advantage of being least likely to engender antibody resistance. To date, I have found that switching such individuals does result in a return to the former degree of responsiveness. So, if the development of antibody-based resistance seems a possibility, a switch to Xeomin would be worth a try.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

BOTOX uniqueness

As many other experience and knowledgeable doctors have stated, speak with your physician. His technique with 40 units may not have been the same as your prior injector. The dilution may have been quite different, however, we would rather have a patient come in and express their concerns so we can correct the issue. I hope you get the results you were initially looking for!

William P. Mack, MD, PA
Tampa Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

What to do if Botox treatment didn't work.

There are a number of reasons for a poor response to Botox injection but you should not worry about these.  If it didn't work, go back to the physician and have him fix it at no cost to you.  In our clinic, we take responsibility for poor results and fix them, no questions asked.  You should never go to a physician that does not guarantee their results. 
For the best Botox results in the future, use the following checklist:  Is your injector one of the core specialists: Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dermatologist or General Plastic Surgeon?   Do they guarantee your result at no cost?   Do they routinely perform follow-up visits to fine tune your result?   Are they one of the authorized clinics on the Botox Cosmetic website?    

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Botox efficacy

Forty units is a decent dose for the glabella and should have produced a result. Discuss your concern with the physician. Some patients require more Botox to patalyze the muscles. Inquire about the dilution rate and whether you can have a touchup.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Botox and face effect

Without knwoing what you looked like before the Botox and after, it is hard to say, but if you are unahppy with the results, you may want to touch base with the doctor to see if he can do a "touch up."  Give it two full weeks to make sure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Botox not working

There are several reasons why your Botox may not be working. With 40 units of Botox it definitely should have kicked in by now. We all do have different techniques.So that is one variable that could be different. You should call the doctor and discuss it with him or the office. It may be that it is not as active if they used Botox that  was not mixed that day..You should ask them how long they save a bottle.This can definitely influence the effect. Even with the best of technique and freshness of Botox sometimes it just doesn't take for the patient. I always make sure my patient is happy with the result. You should call their office and see if they will re-treat. It is important to do it within 2 to 4 weeks of the treatment for them to make good of that  visit.They need to see that it has not worked for you. I hope this information has helped. You may need to go back to your first doctor to maintain your good results.

Esta Kronberg, MD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.