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Battle of the ‘Miracle Drugs’: BOTOX® vs. Dysport®

Battle of the ‘Miracle Drugs’: BOTOX® vs. Dysport®

botox forehead frown lines
Before and after BOTOX® cosmetic in the forehead and frown lines.

What medicine comes on top when we think of a “miracle drug” that gets rid of the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and other blemishes?

BOTOX® is the answer most people immediately come up with. After all, Botox has been around for a long time (it has been used cosmetically since the 1960s), and at this point, many celebrities and other affluent people have raved about its wonderful effects. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more recently approved Dysport®, a competitor that many are hoping would tip the scales to make the medications more affordable in the long run.

The most common question many people ask is, should I choose BOTOX® or Dysport®? Here’s everything you need to know about the two brands, and what they can do for you.

The Similarities

First of all, the similarities. Both medicines are derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, a naturally occurring organism.

Both BOTOX® and Dysport® are used to treat a host of conditions and diseases but are commonly utilized to minimize the effects of aging. Glabellar lines (frown lines or the wrinkles that appear between the eyebrows), crow’s feet (the wrinkles at the sides of the eyes), and sagging skin are usually the first signs of aging to go from the onset of the medication. They both work by temporarily paralyzing the facial muscles, thereby creating a more youthful appearance for the patients.

Aside from “reversing” the signs of aging, both kinds of the toxin are also used to treat other diseases and conditions, particularly those that had to do with muscular disorders. In fact, it is effective in relaxing muscles given that it can block the chemical acetylcholine, as well as chemicals that activate sweat glands.

It is also used to treat the following:
•    Muscle spasms or stiffness, as well as other movement disorders
•    Eye conditions such as uncontrolled blinking or crossed eyes
•    Frequent migraines or headaches
•    Overactive bladder
•    Severe sweating

Overall, both brands can treat wrinkles, excessive sweating, muscle spasms and a host of other conditions. Dysport® is also used to treat pediatric lower limb spasticity. Both work by blocking chemicals that may be triggering the conditions, such as those the overactive sweat glands and muscles. However, both their effects are temporary; once the muscles gain mobility, the underlying conditions (and wrinkles) may return.

The Differences

Now comes the comparison of the two versions of the neurotoxin. While they are similar in so many ways, they are pretty different in some cases.

These differences are categorized below:

  • Dilution – The two brands differ in terms of dilution, in the sense that their ratio is not equally 1:1. For this reason, BOTOX® patients who are switching to Dysport® may have to get more units, while Dysport® patients switching to BOTOX® may need less. That is not to say that Dysport® is less effective than BOTOX®, however. It simply means that more units of Dysport® are needed to achieve the results offered by BOTOX®. The common ratio is 2.5 to 3 Dysport® units to 1 BOTOX® unit. This is helpful to know when the clinic is charging by the unit. Dysport® units are significantly less expensive than BOTOX® units. As a result, the final price would still amount to be more or less the same.


  • Diffusion – Numerous studies have shown that Dysport® tends to spread more than BOTOX®. This means two things: doctors would have to use lesser units of Dysport® to target a large area, such as the armpit; on the other hand, the doctors would have to be very careful when targeting smaller areas as the diffusion might  have unfavorable side effects. However, diffusion is also an issue with BOTOX®, although not on the same scale. What this means, therefore, is that your doctor would have to be very careful when applying the medication to prevent unwanted spread of the medicine to other parts of your face and body.


  • Molecule size – Dysport® molecules are smaller than BOTOX®, in such a way that makes its effects more pronounced. For instance, it usually takes BOTOX® patients four to seven days to see a difference in their faces, while Dysport® patients can see results in as little as a day or two post-treatment. Both last three to four months, although some studies in Europe say that the effects of Dysport® last longer than BOTOX®.

The Conclusion

The differences between the two are completely negligible. While Dysport® is less expensive than BOTOX®, you would need more units of it to get the same results as you would with BOTOX®, so the price remains more or less the same.

Both can give you the same results, while the risks and possible side effects are essentially identical.
What it then boils down to is the importance of choosing the right practitioner or doctor to perform the procedure for you. As you can probably surmise from this blog, a lot of the side effects have to do with an inexperienced practitioner.

Therefore, the more important question you should be asking is if your preferred practitioner is experienced enough to handle both these products. Once you have determined that you are in good hands, then you can talk to your doctor in detail about which product you should use. If you are interested in learning more or getting treated for BOTOX® or Dypsort® call 480-970-2580 or schedule an appointment today!


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