Could you be immune to muscle relaxant injections?
Botulinum toxin used via injection of the relaxation of muscles is becoming increasingly more mainstream in the treatment of wrinkles, teeth grinding, sweating and other conditions such as neck and bladder spasm.
But some people notice that with repeated injections, they seem to lose effect. So often I am asked, ‘could I be immune’?
The way that muscle relaxant injections work is to temporarily reduce the movement of muscles that contract to cause wrinkles. When patients who have repeated injections but notice a reduced effect may have one of a few things happenings.
1) Antibody development: It is possible to develop antibodies to the toxin used to relax the muscles. That means the body will fight the toxin off so it is no longer effective. It is usually an antibody to a protein attached to the main toxin molecule that develops over time.
The solution: Luckily in Australia we have three types of botulinum toxin, so if there is a noticeable lack of effect, the treatment can be switched to a different agent where the body may not have developed an antibody to the specific protein attached to that brand of toxin. The good news? Although you may become immune to the protein attached to the botulinum toxin, it is almost unheard of to become completely immune to the entire product.
2) Fast metabolism. It is true that very fit and active people may metabolise the toxin more quickly than those who don’t.
The solution: Unfortunately there is little that can be done. I advise smaller amounts more frequently for more natural softening, rather than large doses at too close intervals, where it wears off quickly and looks obvious as it does.
Anti wrinkle injection technique is of vital importance. If the substance is not injected into the ‘belly’ of the muscle contraction then the effect is less likely to last.
The Soluation: Different injectors will have different techniques. Make sure you go to someone who knows their anatomy, but who can also study YOUR own anatomy to determine where the injection should best be placed in you.
In essence, anti wrinkle injections are very safe, and it is extraordinary unlikely that they becomes less effective with time. Correct product selection and injection technique should keep you smooth and wrinkle free for years to come!