If you regularly get neuromodulator treatments, such as Botox, Dysport, Nuceiva or Xeomin, and have noticed they seem slightly less effective, don't last quite as long, or require more frequent touch-ups, there may be a surprising reason.
A new study has found that neuromodulator injections may be less effective in those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. But before we go any further, we cannot stress this enough: This is no reason not to get vaccinated or boosted.
This study was small.
Most people will probably still find a neuromodulator that's effective.
Forehead lines are always better than severe illness or death. Now we will continue and share everything we know so far about this phenomenon.
The goal of the study was to see if there was a potential influence from the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (the Pfizer vaccine) on Botulinum toxin type A injections. The study does not specify a brand of Botulinum type A injection so it could be any of the four brands that use, including Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Nuceiva.
This was a small study, only 45 subjects, with an average age of 48.3. The group was 89% female. The results found that the average time between Botox injections after a COVID vaccination was shorter than before — 96 days, compared to 118 (four months) — leading researchers to believe that Botox might be less effective after COVID-19 vaccination.
The last line is imperative here, as it includes the word 'might, The study raises an interesting possibility, but is not conclusive and calls for additional research.
What are the uses of BOTOX® Cosmetic?
In fact, our medical injectors have been noticing this phenomenon in some of our patients who use neurotoxins for awhile now. They have needed higher doses, or more frequent treatments, to see the same response they did before getting vaccinated against COVID. Patients who get injected "religiously" are calling us for more frequent touch-ups than ever before, though they haven't changed the technique or number of units they're using on them. Developing full antibodies against one of the neuromodulators is rare but not unheard of. Some patients usually stopped responding to Botox, but they switch to another toxin such as Dysport and it's fine. Someone not responding to any of the formulas is very, very surprising.
Experts don't know for sure why some neuromodulator users may be experiencing this, but they have theories. The mechanism may be that the immune response from the vacine somehow blunts the efficacy of the neuromodulator. Vaccines create a robust immune response, and robust immune responses could possibly affect neuromodulator treatments one way or another. There may be a link, but to say that definitively needs more data. It's also important to remember that of course actually having the COVID virus creates an immune response as well. This study didn't comment on how many of the subjects had also had COVID and when, which could also absolutely give the same response.
To conclude, neuromodulators are extraordinarily safe and very effective, and the COVID vaccines are proven to be very safe and very effective. I personally would take a vaccine any day over having a severe illness or death. In summary, subject group in the study was small and there is more to follow. It is important to have studies that take a large group of patients who have failed to respond to neuromodulators or needed higher doses and look at who was vaccinated, who had COVID, and what the timeline was. This is an interesting study and a good first step in trying to figure this out, but it is unclear whether Botox is not lasting as long, or whether patients are choosing to come in earlier for injections because of altered expectations.
Our experts at Rejuvenus Clinic remark that it is still important to get the COVID vaccine to protect yourself and you loved ones from this potentially deadly virus. Have any questions request a complementary consultation at 647-615-0223.
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