Can Less Units of Botox in Glabella Prevent from Side Effects? Does Concentration Matter?

Iam going to have botox injection in my glabella.Im affraid of side effects.Can less units of botox prevent from having side effects?The average number of unit in this area is about 20u, could be better to do 15 and then come back after few weeks if I need more? Does the side effects wears off faster if less units were used?

Doctor Answers 15

Botox Outcomes

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As many panel members have stated, technique of the injector will minimize side effects more than simply dosing down.  Your dosing depends on your individual anatomy, and a skilled injector will take this into account. Injecting less than is recommended will lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Can Less Units of Botox in Glabella Prevent from Side Effects? Does Concentration Matter?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Concentration of the neurotoxin is taken into account when the number of units are being mentioned whether it's Botox, Dysport or Xeomin.  IMHO, start out with half the typical dose and see what happens.  Headaches do occur in some after toxin injections and are easilly treated with mild analgesics.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Botox - minimizing side effects

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. Your desire to minimize side effects is perfectly understandable. You would be well advised to seek treatment only from a board-certified physician who is experienced with Botox. The technique employed during Botox administration has much greater influence upon one's risk of experiencing side effects than do the specific number of units or concentration of the medication itself. I hope that helps to answer your question. Good luck.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Depends on the injector

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I typically use less botox than is "standard" to reduce cost to the patient.  If the injections are done exactly into the targeted muscles, less botox will still give the same result, but it may not last as long. 

Laura E. Skellchock, MD (in memoriam)
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon

Less Botox, Less Side Effects?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Injecting less than 20 units of Botox (I usually inject more than this) can help to decrease the risk of side effects if you inject the Botox in areas less likely to cause problems. With respect to concentration , it probably does not matter how concentrated it it, only the total number of units. This is why most places charge based on units and will discuss the price based on this. For instance, if it is very dilute, you can pay a small amount for a 1 mL injection but get mostly saline with little product.

If you are concerned, it is reasonable to try a small dose and then repeat it in a few weeks. The only problem with small doses (eg 15 units) is that they wont provide full effect and wont last long.

Kenneth Beer, MD
Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox in the Glabella

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The average number of units for a good result in a female patient ranges from 20-27 units.  This increases for male patients.  You can always start with less, but you may not get the desired result.  Please go to an experienced injector.  The side effects from Botox are minimal if any.  The most common one is a small bruise at the injection site.  

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

Yes dose and dilution do matter.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Having said that the most important factor is injector experience.  In the hands of an experienced injector, the incidence of side effects is extremely low.  Look for a doctor in the core aesthetic specialties: Dermatology, Oculoplastic Surgery, Facial Plastic Surgery, and General Plastic Surgery.




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

Botox for frown lines

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Some people who have less prominent frown lines can get away with less than 20 units.  Sometimes I will use 12-15 units for those people, but my typical amount for an average frown is 20 units.  Some people with strong muscles require more than 20 units.  Regarding concentration, this is less important than the actual number of units being injected.  Botox can be mixed with varying amounts of saline solution, which changes the concentration.  There is a range of concentrations that can work well and the actual concentration used will depend on the experience of your injector. 

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Smaller doses will result in less satisfaction, not less risk

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First, and let me stress this, you should make sure you are seeing an experienced, board-certified physician injector. That alone will help you alleviate the chance for side effects more than any other single thing. Injecting less Botox will not prevent side effects, or give you less of a chance of having side effects. It's not about the number of units being injected - it's about the proper placement of the injections for your desired results.

Botox dosing for safest and most effective results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is very unlikely that a lower dose of Botox will lower the chance of side effects, but will greatly increase the chance of an unsatisfactory response. The serious side-effects that are outlined in the advisory form are associated with high doses for therapeutic treatments, not the tiny doses used for cosmetic such as the glabella.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.