Botox: The Wonder Drug?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) From migraine... to muscle pain... to depression. Botox does more than just smooth away wrinkles.

Martha Fritz's migraines used to stop her from doing everyday activities, but Botox injections have kept her headache-free.

"I don't miss work as much," Fritz told Ivanhoe. "I don't miss my son's baseball games, so Botox has made a dramatic difference in my life."

It's also made a difference in Cheryl Laureano's life. Laureano suffers from torticollis. Her neck muscles spasm involuntarily, causing incorrect posture and pain.

"If I were to just completely relax, you see my head just starts turning itself," Laureano told Ivanhoe.

The injections stop the problematic muscles from contracting.

"Improve the contraction of the muscle. Improve the head position. Improve the pain," Zhigao Huang, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist at UF Shands in Jacksonville, Fla., told Ivanhoe.

The drug also helped with Kathleen Delano's depression. "I wasn't interested in talking or communicating with friends or family," Delanosaid.

A small study found Botox relieved depression in nine of 10 women.

"You're basically preventing people from expressing those sad and angry emotions on their face," Eric Finzi, M.D., Ph.D., a board-certified dermasurgeon at the Chevy Chase Cosmetic Center in Chevy Chase, Md., told Ivanhoe.

But Botox may not come worry-free. A recent study by Italian researchers revealed when the toxin in Botox was injected into mice in comparable doses to those used in humans, it traveled to the brain stem in three days.

Last year, the FDA issued a warning that Botox has been linked to respiratory failure and death.

But for some, the drug has offered relief when nothing else could.

Botox is also being used to treat stroke patients, those with MS and men with enlarged prostates although it is not yet FDA-approved for these conditions.

Kelly Brockmeier, Media Relations
Shands Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL

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