OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is given as a number of tiny injections intended to affect only the specific area where injected. However, it is possible that the medication may spread from the area of injection and affect muscles in other areas of the body. If the muscles that control breathing and swallowing are affected, you may develop severe problems breathing or swallowing that may last for several months and may cause death. If you have difficulty swallowing, you may need to be fed through a feeding tube to avoid getting food or drink into your lungs.
OnabotulinumtoxinA injection may spread and cause symptoms in people of any age who are being treated for any condition, although no one has yet developed these symptoms after receiving the medication at recommended doses to treat wrinkles, eye problems, headaches, or severe underarm sweating. The risk that the medication will spread beyond the area of injection is probably highest in children being treated for abnormal muscle tightening and in people, who have or have ever had swallowing problems, or breathing problems, such as asthma or emphysema; or any condition that affects muscles or nerves such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease; condition in which the nerves that control muscle movement slowly die, causing the muscles to shrink and weaken), motor neuropathy (condition in which the muscles weaken over time), myasthenia gravis (condition that causes certain muscles to weaken, especially after activity), or Lambert-Eaton syndrome (condition that causes muscle weakness that may improve with activity). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any of these conditions.
Spread of onabotulinumtoxinA injection into untreated areas can cause other symptoms in addition to difficulty breathing or swallowing. Symptoms may occur within hours of an injection or as late as several weeks after treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: loss of strength or muscle weakness all over the body; double or blurred vision; drooping eyelids; difficulty swallowingor breathing; hoarseness or change or loss of voice; difficulty saying words clearly; or inability to control urination.
Your doctor will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with onabotulinumtoxinA injection and each time you receive treatment. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
OnabotulinumtoxinA injection (Botox) is used to relieve the symptoms of cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis; uncontrollable tightening of the neck muscles that may cause neck pain and abnormal head positions) in people 16 years of age and older; strabismus (an eye muscle problem that causes the eye to turn inward or outward) and blepharospasm (uncontrollable tightening of the eyelid muscles that may cause blinking, squinting, and abnormal eyelid movements) in people 12 years of age and older. OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is also used to prevent headaches in people older than 18 years of age with chronic migraine (severe, throbbing headaches that are sometimes accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound or light) who have 15 or more days each month with headaches lasting 4 hours or more. OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is used to treat incontinence (leakage of urine) in people 18 years of age and older with overactive bladder (condition in which the bladder muscles have uncontrollable spasms) caused by nerve problems such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis (MS; a disease in which the nerves do not function properly and people may experience weakness, numbness, loss of muscle coordination, and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control), who cannot be treated with oral medication. OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is also used to treat upper limb spasticity (increased muscle stiffness) in the elbow, wrist, and fingers in people 18 years of age and older; and to treat severe underarm sweating in people 18 years of age and older who cannot be treated with products applied on the skin. OnabotulinumtoxinA injection (Botox Cosmetic) is used to temporarily smooth frown lines (wrinkles between the eyebrows) in adults up to 65 years of age. OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is in a class of medications called neurotoxins. When onabotulinumtoxinA is injected into a muscle, it blocks the nerve signals that cause uncontrollable tightening and movements of the muscle. When onabotulinumtoxinA is injected into a sweat gland, it decreases the activity of the gland to reduce sweating. When onabotulinumtoxinA is injected into the bladder, it decreases bladder contractions and blocks signals that tell the nervous system that the bladder is full.
OnabotulinumtoxinA injection comes as a powder to be mixed with a liquid and injected into a muscle, into the skin, or into the wall of the bladder by a doctor. Your doctor will choose the best place to inject the medication in order to treat your condition. If you are receiving onabotulinumtoxinA to treat frown lines, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, strabismus, upper limb spasticity, urinary incontinence, or chronic migraine, you may receive additional injections every 3 to 4 months, depending on your condition and on how long the effects of the treatment last. If you are receiving onabotulinumtoxinA injection to treat severe underarm sweating, you may need to receive additional injections once every 6 to 7 months or when your symptoms return.
If you are receiving onabotulinumtoxinA injection to treat severe underarm sweating, your doctor will probably perform a test to find the areas that need to be treated. Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for this test. You will probably be told to shave your underarms and not to use nonprescription deodorants or antiperspirants for 24 hours before the test.
Your doctor may change your dose of onabotulinumtoxinA injection to find the dose that will work best for you.
Your doctor may use an anesthetic cream, or a cold pack, to numb your skin, or eye drops to numb your eyes before injecting onabotulinumtoxinA.
If you are receiving onabotulinumtoxinA injection to treat urinary incontinence, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for you to take for 1–3 days before your treatment, on the day of your treatment and for 1 to 3 days after your treatment.
One brand or type of botulinum toxin cannot be substituted for another.
OnabotulinumtoxinA injection may help control your condition but will not cure it. It may take a few days or up to several weeks before you feel the full benefit of onabotulinumtoxinA injection. Ask your doctor when you can expect to see improvement, and call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during the expected time.
OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is also sometimes used to treat other conditions in which abnormal muscle tightening causes pain, abnormal movements, or other symptoms. OnabotulinumtoxinA injection is also sometimes used to treat excessive sweating of the hands, excessive sweating that occurs during or after eating, many types of wrinkles of the face, tremor (uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body), and anal fissures (a split or tear in the tissue near the rectal area). The medication is also sometimes used to improve the ability to move in children with cerebral palsy (condition that causes difficulty with movement and balance) or adults who have had a stroke. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, bleeding, or bruising in the place where you received the injection
muscle pain, stiffness, tightness, weakness, or spasm
pain or tightness in the face or neck
dry or irritated eyes
difficulty closing the eyes
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
sweating from parts of the body other than the underarms
double, blurred, or decreased vision
dry, irritated, or painful eyes
difficulty moving the face
pain in the arms, back, neck, or jaw
shortness of breath
swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
inability to empty your bladder on your own
pain or burning when urinating or frequent urination
blood in urine
OnabotulinumtoxinA injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
difficulty moving any part of your body
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about onabotulinumtoxinA injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 08/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.