Botulinum toxin based injectables are sold under a number of brand names, the most commonly-known products in the United States being Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Myobloc.
Botulinum toxin type A, or Botox as it would become widely known, was the first botulinum toxin treatment to be approved by the FDA. It became commercially available in 1989. It would take a few years, but Botox would go on to become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures of all time.
As the longest running botulinum toxin injectable available, Botox enjoys a lot of brand recognition and customer loyalty. In fact, even the name “Botox” has become a household word. With nearly three decades of positive results, a high safety rating, and positive patient feedback, Botox is the number one most trusted brand in the world of botulinum toxin injectables.
Many injectors charge a flat rate for each injection of Botox, while other practices will break it down into costs per “units” used in each treatment. Flat rates usually range between $300 and $1,000, and per unit prices are usually $10 to $15 per unit.
Doctors usually pay about $400 per vial of Botox, each containing about 100 units, or enough for about 4 or 5 treatments. However, every vial must be used within a few hours of being opened, otherwise the medication goes bad and must be discarded. This can impact on the cost.
Note that the final cost of any botulinum toxin injections will depend on the area treated, the geographical location where you receive treatment, and the number of injections needed. Also keep in mind that the quality of the surgical practice where your treatment is carried out and the professional qualification of your injector can impact on the price. Any practice offering an exceptionally low price for Botox may be a hint of poor treatment procedures.
Lastly, remember that Botox for aesthetic purposes is not usually covered by insurance.
Another botulinum toxin type A injectable that is available is Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA), which gained FDA approval in April 2009. Although its approval for use in the United States came years after Botox, Dysport has been widely available in the U.K. since 1991.
Dysport holds some advantages over Botox. Since it is made with a smaller protein “load” than Botox, your body will not try as hard to attack it, so results should last a little longer. That said, this is still being debated and studied.
Also thanks to this smaller protein load, Dysport’s results appear slightly faster than Botox: 2-5 days, rather than 4-7. This makes it more effective if you have a date or special event on the horizon.
Once injected, Dysport “spreads out” somewhat more than Botox. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s very useful for treating larger areas, like the forehead or armpits. It means fewer injections, along with less swelling, bruising, and general discomfort. On the other hand, if administered by an inexperienced doctor, Dysport can spread into unwanted areas, causing negative side effects like blurry vision or drooping eyebrows. It also means that Dysport might not work as well for small areas, or thicker muscles, like between your eyebrows or around your mouth.
The average cost for Dysport injections is between $300 and $400. This may seem less expensive than Botox, but it is important to keep in mind that Dysport has less botulinum toxin in each injection. Depending on what your specific treatment entails, you may therefore need more treatments to reach your desired goals.
In most cases, the deciding factor between Botox and Dysport is a matter of preference for either you, or the doctor administering your injection. There are several differences between the two, but mostly they’re remarkably similar.
Another botulinum toxins type A injectable available at present is Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA). Like Dysport, this product has been available overseas for some time now, hitting the European market in 2005.
Introduced into the U.S. in 2010, Xeomin achieved FDA approval in 2011. Known as a “naked injectable,” Xeomin differs in that it doesn’t contain any additives, unlike its older competitors.
However, the most significant difference between Xeomin and other injectables like Botox and Dysport is that Xeomin contains only one ingredient: botulinum toxin type A. This sets it apart in a number of ways:
- Because Xeomin doesn’t contain any additives, your body is much less likely to become resistant to it, unlike Botox or Dysport.
- Xeomin is the only botulinum toxin that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it much easier for doctors to keep on hand.
- With no bonding proteins, the chances of an allergic reaction are greatly reduced.
Often measured in units like Botox, Xeomin usually runs about $10 to $12 per unit. The cost of each treatment can be as high as $400, though like all other injectables, the final price depends on your injector’s experience and the area to be treated.
The only commercially available version of botulinum toxin type B, Myobloc (rimabotulinumtoxinB) became available on the U.S. market in 2000.
Botulinum toxin type A and type B are very similar, but type B Myobloc has a few advantages over type A toxins:
- Myobloc is able to relieve pain for patients who have become resistant to BTX-A medications.
- Myobloc has a slightly faster onset time than BTX-A injectables.
- Though not approved for cosmetic wrinkle treatments, Myobloc has been found to spread out from the injection site similar to Dysport. This means a larger area can benefit from treatment.
Myobloc is available in an injectable solution that has 5,000 units per milliliter, and is most often available in 0.5 milliliter doses. The average treatment uses between 2,500 and 5,000 units, and usually runs in the $300 to $600 range.