Dealing with dystonia? Well, here’s an idea that’s tracking well with many neurologists and patients: Botox. Yeah, Botox—for dystonia! Who knew that a little old bovine injection could benefit people with movement disorders, too!
Personally, I’m a little curious myself about the risks involved because all drugs have side effects. And I guess it’s one thing if you’re considering Botox because you’ve got a heavy brow or a funky little crinkle in your nose that you just can’t bear to look at in the mirror. I mean, it’s a small injection that you might get once or twice a year… I could see that…maybe…
But my mind is not quite made up about taking Botox for dystonia after reading about a 64-year-old woman, who’s been receiving the injections at the Cleveland Clinic. She’s been getting Botox injections for nearly 15 years! She has cervical dystonia that makes her neck muscles involuntarily contract, causing her to turn her head to one side, repeatedly, and it’s quite painful.
Does it work?
Apparently, it takes a couple of days for the injection to work, to “paralyze” the muscles, or maybe it would be more accurate to say that the injection actually prevents the muscles from “misfiring.”
Does it last?
Well, good question, but again, based on my readings, it seems that for some people with dystonia, it lasts just under three months. But whether or not it provides an effective response for the entire duration of those 10-12 weeks, is unclear. Does the Botox’s effectiveness start to slack off after 6 weeks and then slowly taper to a halt? Or does it simply stop one day. Do patients get to know the signs? Or is it all pretty much formulated and bada bing, the neurologist has it down to a science and schedules their patients to return precisely in x number of weeks?
While some types of the disease are genetic, scientists don’t know why others suffer from this disease/syndrome. This disorder strikes as many as 250,000 Americans as reported by the National Institutes of Health.
I’m very glad to know that Botox is showing to prove effective in helping to relieve symptoms of dystonia for some patients. More medications are needed! Hello pharmaceutical companies?! It’s just that I don’t know SAFE it is to take Botox long-term.