That’s right! BOTOX® is 10 years old this month!
Botox was originally FDA approved treatment for two rare eye muscle disorders (strabismus and blepharospasm). The original name, Oculinum, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but shortly after Allergan, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, secured that first FDA approval in 1989, the product was rebranded Botox. Once physicians realized that Botox could treat wrinkles, the rest was history.
The FDA approved BOTOX® for aesthetic treatment in April 2002 and it has gone from a somewhat controversial treatment to a celebrity-endorsed wrinkle remedy. Injectables have become the new norm in cosmetic treatment. Last year’s statistics compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that the most common nonsurgical procedures last year were neurotoxins and hyaluronic acid fillers. That is medical talk for BOTOX® and Dysport® (neurotoxins) as well as products like Jevederm and Restylane (hyaluronic acids or HAs)
BOTOX® reached nearly $1.6 billion in sales last year, attributing 51 percent to therapeutic uses and 49 percent to aesthetic uses. It became so successful that it gained its first FDA-approved wrinkle-reducing competitor in 2009—the sincerest form of flattery in the business world. However, BOTOX® continues to evolve as new uses for the product are discovered. Used off-label, it treats a host of concerns such as crow’s-feet, down-turned corners of the mouth and bands on the neck. You may be surprised to learn that it has also been used, off label, to aesthetically treat enlarged pores, droopy eyebrows, a pointy chin and a droopy nose tip. Additionally, it’s an FDA-approved treatment for medical conditions ranging from chronic migraine to excessive sweating. Next up: the company is seeking FDA approval for the treatment of crow’s-feet.
Why has BOTOX® become so popular? Well, in short, because it works. BOTOX® can be overused or misused and look terrible. But when it is used correctly and conservatively, it creates a look of youthfulness that is undetectable without the need for surgery, high costs or lengthy recovery times.
As they say, everything in moderation. Problems with BOTOX® arise when patients start believing that more of a good thing is better. In this case, a little bit of a good thing is good. More is not necessarily better.
Sure, it has become the drug of choice for many in Hollywood, but BOTOX® has moved way beyond the glitz and glamour of the movie industry. Since its FDA approval for cosmetic use ten years ago, BOTOX® has become mainstream. It’s now the number one cosmetic medical treatment in the country, with nearly six million procedures last year.
Typical treatments range from $350 to $700, a small price to pay for turning back the clock without evidence of “having work done.”
Even men are getting in on the action. More than 300,000 men underwent BOTOX® treatments last year. Their reasons for nudging towards the needle range from simple vanity to gaining a competitive edge in the workplace.
And then there are a growing number of patients who use BOTOX® to treat debilitating conditions such as migraine headaches, muscle spasms and urinary incontinence. Since 2002, Botox has been FDA-approved to treat almost a dozen different medical conditions.
So here we are. Ten years later, with millions of Botox injections for dozens of different treatments, and everybody is happy.
So here’s to you, Botox, on your 10th birthday. You don’t look a day over seven.