With the approval of Dysport by the FDA on April 30, of this year the question on most people’s mind is, “What are the differences between Botox and Dysport?” There is huge amount of both ambiguous and outright inaccurate information on the web about both of these products. The main questions are:
1.) In most patients Botox takes about 3 days to start working but in some patients can take up to two weeks to achieve full effect. Faster onset was noted in about 30% of patients who used Dysport with some seeing effects in as little as a single day.
2.) Most studies on Botox show that it lasts about 3 to 4 months and there is a direct correlation between the amount of product used and the duration of effects. Many posts and websites assert that Dysport lasts longer and some studies do indicate a slightly longer duration of effect, but not all of them. In fact some clinical trials indicate exactly the opposite, that Botox last longer. Clinical experience in the U.S. over the next several months will help guide consensus on this. For providers who follow the current injection guidelines, expect either product to last about 3-4 months.
3.) Both dosage and injection technique are product dependent. The conversion is approximately 2.5 Dysport units to 1 Botox unit, but there is some variation between the upper and lower face. Another technical issue is that Dysport seems to spread more during injections in most studies. This can be both a good and a bad thing. It is good in that large areas that need injection (forehead, armpits) would require fewer injections due to the spreading. However, it can also be a bad thing if the physician is an inexperienced injector and does not have a good understanding of more complex musculature (around the eyes, between the eyebrows). In these cases the Dysport could spread into unwanted areas causing untoward side effects such as droopy eyelids and brows.
4.) Botox has been used for over 20 years starting with cerebral palsy patients and has a truly excellent safety record. Dysport has been used for several years in Europe and Canada and at this point has shown no safety issues.
5.) After a thorough review of the current literature we have determined that Dysport is a safe and effect alternative for Botox. The cost of Dysport to is about 5-10% less than Botox and we will pass that savings on to our patients. Dysport will run between $4 and $5 per unit. Give us a call at 303.683.3235 to find out more or schedule an appointment to decide which product is right for you.
As always competition is a good thing. The emergence of an alternative drug to Botox should spur on pricing competition that will benefit both patients and physicians alike. Also new research and development is already under way to provide the next big product such a as Purtox. Time and good clinical based studies will determine which products are truly clinically effective and which are more marketing hype.