Dysport: The Botox Alternative

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although Botox® has shown to temporarily yet successfully treat skin wrinkles, an alternative to the Botox compound has been developed. It is widely known as Dysport™. It was created in the 1990’s in the UK and was FDA approved by 2009 for the treatment of Cervical Dystonia (to reduce the severity of head and neck pain) and the temporary improvement of moderate to severe glabellar lines (wrinkled) in adults younger than 65 years of age.

Although Dysport is differentiated from similar products with the unique name “Abobotulinumtoxin A,” it works in much the same way as Botox. At the cellular level, it acts just like Botox as an acetylcholine inhibitor and neuromuscular blocking agent. They both contain Botulinum Toxin A, a neurotoxin. These toxins attach themselves to nerve endings and inhibit the release of acetylcholine – the neurotransmitter responsible for triggering muscle contractions. In other words, they cause paralysis in the affected muscles.

The main difference between the two botulinum products pertains to the dosage. Although Dysport is injected in the same way that Botox is, they are not interchangeable products. Therefore they should not be administered in the same proportions. Dysport’s aesthetic use involves injections into the face. The most common areas are between the eyebrows, the corners of the eyes, and the forehead, but it can also be injected into any area of the face that shows expression lines. This alternative is useful to those who have not had success with Botox. In point of fact, research shows that Dysport injections last over twice as long as Botox.

The side effects of Dysport are similar to that of Botox, including temporary swelling, numbness, and slight bruising of the affected area. There are also the same risks involved with the compound spreading to other areas of the body, so precautions must be taken. Dysport contains human serum albumin, a blood plasma protein, but based on successful donor screening and the product’s manufacturing process, Dysport carries only a very remote risk for the transmission of viral diseases. No cases of the transmission of viral diseases have ever been reported for albumin.

It is yet unknown whether the possibility of an immune reaction to Dysport could occur when it is injected intradermally. Also, the safety of the use of Dysport to treat Hyperhidrosis is still unknown. It is also unknown whether the use of Dysport is safe for subjects previously treated with Botox. Dysport is not recommended to those with weak musculature, or for patients who have undergone facial surgery.

The future of Dysport consists of further research into the possibility for its uses in children and adults with Spasticity, lead by U.S. pharmaceutical company Ipsen.


“FDA Approves Dysport” (April 2009). Drugs.com. February 12, 2012. http://www.drugs.com/newdrugs/fda-approves-dysport-therapeutic-aesthetic-uses-1336.html

Ipsen: Innovation for Patient Care. (April 2010). Dysport™ Abobotulinumtoxin A for Injection. 2011 Tercica, Inc. http://www.dysport.com/hcp/index.php

Smith, Jeb. (September 8, 2010) “Dysport: The Other Botox”. Aesthetic Medicine News. IAPAM. February 12, 2012. http://www.aestheticmedicinenews.com/dysport-the-other-botox.htm.


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