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Botox face-off: Choice of toxin may matter (at least for crow's feet)

June 21, 2011|By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
  • In a face-off between Botox and competitor Dysport, patients preferred how Dysport smoothed their "crow's feet," a study found.
In a face-off between Botox and competitor Dysport, patients preferred… (Win McNamee / Getty Images )

Botox has been the reigning, if unofficial, monarch of cosmetic procedures for nearly a decade. But its claim to the beauty throne is being rattled this week by a study in which patients thought another brand of botulinum toxin, the Botox competitor Dysport, smoothed their “crow’s feet” wrinkles a bit better.

In a randomized, double-blind face-off funded by the makers of Dysport, patients received injections of Botox on one side of the face and injections of Dysport on the other. The substances were applied to the muscles that close the eyelids.

After 30 days, researchers said, two-thirds of the patients said they preferred the Dysport side of their face; one-third chose the Botox side.

However, when judging photos of the wrinkles on a five-point scale, the difference between how both participants and researchers rated Dysport and Botox sides of the face was statistically significant only when the eye muscles were contracted, not when at rest. The findings were published online Monday in the journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery. 

The authors write in the paper that patients “unequivocally preferred” the Dysport side of the face for their crow’s feet, but the study concluded that more research is needed concerning wrinkles elsewhere:

“The data do not support superiority claims in other regions of the face or groups of facial muscles.”

Dysport entered the Botox-dominated U.S. market of skin-smoothing injectables two years ago and is gaining considerable attention with its new study.

Both Dysport and Botox are botulinum toxins, proteins made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. OnabotulinumtoxinA, better known as Botox, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat frown lines in 2002; AbobotulinumtoxinA, or Dysport, got the agency’s approval in 2009.

More scientific studies will illuminate differences in the two drugs, including -- the researchers point out -- how each acts on specific muscles. In the meantime, the latest news ought to leave Dysport -- and its patrons -- with smiling eyes.

Or maybe not.

healthkey@tribune.com

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