Xeomin: The Botox Alternative You Need to Know About

Once upon a time, Botox was the only injectable treatment for minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This is no longer the case and in fact hasn’t been for a while. Just like Botox, the slightly newer kid on the block, Xeomin, does its magic by blocking neuromuscular signals to paralyze and relax targeted facial muscles. Despite the fact that both treatments contain botulinum toxin type A and have passed clinical trials, they have some significant differences. With this in mind, here is the lowdown on both injectables.
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Botox vs. Xeomin

Both Botox and Xeomin are used to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines on the forehead and between the eyes and smoker’s lines around the lips. The FDA approved Botox for cosmetic use in 2002 and Xeomin in 2010. While both injectables contain botulinum toxin type A, Xeomin contains the so-called “naked” form of this toxin. In other words, Botox contains protein additives while Xeomin does not. This lack of proteins is believed to help prevent antibody resistance, which can reduce the effectiveness of Botox in people who have had the injections administered over a period of time. As such, individuals who stop responding to Botox may benefit from switching to Xeomin.

How Long Do the Effects Last?

Just like Botox, Xeomin treatments take a few minutes depending on the number of injections. While your face might be slightly red and swollen, there is no downtime following the procedure. Both injectables usually start working within a week and their full effect can be seen after 14 days. While the results of both Botox and Xeomin injections are said to last between three and six months, one study reported that Xeomin sets in quicker than Botox and lasts longer. Botox and Xeomin should not be administered interchangeably.

What is the Cost?

Since both Xeomin and Botox are classified as biologic drugs, they do not come in generic versions. Both injectables are similar in price with some websites reporting that Xeomin costs slightly less. For example, if you were to buy an 100-unit vial of either injectable from the pharmacy, it would set you back around $1,000. Since most people undergo Xeomin treatments at a clinic, the costs vary depending on the amount of the product required. Unfortunately, neither Xeomin or Botox are normally covered by insurance when used for cosmetic purposes.

Are There Any Side Effects?

While both Xeomin and Botox are relatively safe, they do come with some side effects. Some of the most common side effects include minor redness, soreness and swelling on the injection sites. Patients also sometimes report suffering from headaches. There are also some more severe side effects, although they are very rare. These include muscle weakness, dry eyes and mouth, hypersensitivity, rash and even respiratory tract problems. The frequency of these side effects for both injectables is said to be approximately the same.
To reduce the risk of side effects, patients are advised not to touch or massage the sites of the injections after the treatment as this could spread the botulinum toxin to another area of the face. Patients should also avoid laying down four hours after the procedure and put off exercise or any other strenuous activity for at least 24 hours.

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