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  • With the increasing popularity of injectables like BOTOX, it’s not surprising that rival procedures are starting to evolve in the marketplace. BOTOX is the most popular non-surgical ‘plastic surgery’ procedure in theUnited States, so there’s definitely a market for competitive products. One such product is Dysport, another injectable of similar repute. For anyone considering BOTOX, it may be worth looking into other alternatives to see what’s best for a particular patient. As Dr. Shervin Naderi says, “I tell my patients to try both as some point and see which one they like best.”

    Closeup Brow Injection

    What is BOTOX?

    BOTOX is the trade name of the protein Botulinum toxin. In small doses, some strains are non-toxic and can be used to treat muscle spasm, and cosmetically to treat wrinkles and frown lines.

    Straightening Frownlines

    BOTOX Cosmetic is used to temporarily improve the appearance of frown lines between the brows. As a non-surgical cosmetic procedure, BOTOX injections are a simple and quick solution to unwanted wrinkles. The injection works by blocking nerve impulses, hence reducing activity in the affected muscles and preventing the manifestation of lines.

    Botox Frownlines

    What is Dysport?

    Like BOTOX, Dysport is a form of the Botulinum toxin. Dysport has been used outside of the U.S. for over a decade to treat neurological disorders, but has recently been approved in the U.S.

    Dysport Frownlines

    Dysport is so similar to BOTOX, in fact, that the two are almost indistinguishable at first glance. Dysport is used to treat the same facial areas – forehead wrinkles and frown lines. And the two injectables work through the same process; blocking the nerve impulses to the affected muscles.

    War of the Wrinkle-Reducers: BOTOX vs. Dysport

    With two such similar products, how can you as a consumer decide? There are a number of factors to consider, including price, efficacy, and duration. As Dr. David Shafer states, “Both products are excellent in their effectiveness and safety…Dysport works the same way as BOTOX Cosmetic.” BOTOX and Dysport are nearly tied in most categories, but there are subtle differences to explore. Dr. Naderi suggests that, “BOTOX is more precise.  It travels less.  Dysport travels more so it gives a ‘softer’ relaxation.  I like BOTOX for the crows feet and eyelids and glabella and I like Dysport more for the forehead but overall they are very similar.”


    Dr. Shafer notes that, “the ‘unit’ measurement of Dysport is different than that of BOTOX.  So 50 units of BOTOX is not equivalent to 50 units of Dysport. So, pricing per unit is different per product, but the total price for treatment is equivalent.” In other words, Dysport is more affordable per unit than BOTOX, but more units are required for a single treatment.

    Ultimately, the two treatments are almost identical in cost. The only reason this difference is worth noting is for clarification. Consumers might initially be led to believe that Dysport is a cheaper treatment option, but in fact, it’s on par with BOTOX.

    Dr. Naderi points out a latent advantage in the emergence of Dysport, “The best news is that BOTOX has competition now so both companies are more aggressive with promotions and special offers whereas for years Allergan [the BOTOX manufacturer] kept raising the price of BOTOX without any concerns for competition.”


    Some studies suggest that Dysport may take effect more rapidly than BOTOX. Dysport usually acts within 1-3 days, while BOTOX acts within 3-5 days. Dr. Shafer contends that, “There are some who claim that [Dysport] has a faster onset of action and slightly longer duration of action.  However, I have not seen a difference clinically. Both procedures start working about 3 days after injection.”

    Nonetheless, with Dysport reportedly acting in as little as 24 hours, it could be a preferable option for patients who want speedy results. Both BOTOX and Dysport are relatively brief and painless procedures with no associated downtime, so neither of those factors are important to a consumer’s decision.


    Dr. Shafer points out that both Dysport and BOTOX “have a duration of action somewhere between 3 to 6months.” However, some studies have indicated that Dysport may last longer, from 6 months to a year. Both Dysport and BOTOX are safe for repeated treatments. You can repeat BOTOX treatments every 3-4 months, and Dysport treatments are approved to be repeated every 90 days. After discontinuing either treatment, your frown lines or wrinkles will gradually return to their original appearance.

    Dysport Frownlines


    There are side effects associated with both products, although Dysport and BOTOX are generally considered very safe.

    Dysport may be more likely than BOTOX to induce antibody reactions. In this case, Dysport’s effects would be counteracted by your body, consequently preventing the product from working. However, this problem also exists with BOTOX, although perhaps less prominently.

    Both BOTOX and Dysport have similar side effects, including bruising, swelling and numbness in the treated area. Also, allergic reactions and/or muscle weakening are possible side effects of both treatments, and should be reported immediately if experienced by the patient.

    What’s right for you?

    BOTOX and Dysport are both approved for cosmetic use in adults ages 18-65. Neither should be used by pregnant or breast-feeding women, nor should they be used by individuals with pre-existing nerve or muscle conditions. You can click here to learn more about Dysport and BOTOX.


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    2 Comments so far

    1. Breast Augmentation on July 21, 2010 6:42 am

      I think botox truly is right for some people. It prevents face lifts and all sorts of things. But only a doctor should administer the botox. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about nurses doing it. BAD IDEA!

    2. merle on July 22, 2010 3:09 am

      I got botox around the eye area and between my eyebrows.I loved it and will do it again.its a small thing that I feel great about doing for myself.

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