Botulinum toxin (Botox® and Dysport®) is a neurotoxin that is produced from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. When small amounts are injected into facial muscles, it weakens the muscles by blocking nerve impulses transmitted from the nerve endings of the muscles.
Dr Julian Rodrigues uses botulinum toxin injections to treat a range of movement disorders, including blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, and tongue/laryngeal dystonia. The injections can be supplied to eligible patients through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Blepharospasm is a neurological condition characterised by continuous blinking and the forcible closure of the eyelids. Up to 90% of blepharospasm patients have reported almost complete relief following treatment with botulinum toxin. The injections are usually given on the eyelid, the brow, and the muscles under the lower lid. Benefits begin in 1 to 14 days after treatment and generally last for 3 to 4 months.
Hemifacial spasm is characterised by involuntary twitching or contraction of the facial muscles on one side of the face. Botulinum toxin injections are used to stop the spasms and relieve the discomfort.
Cervical dystonia is a focal dystonia that affects the neck and sometimes the shoulders. It is a chronic condition that occurs when the brain activates muscles to pull in different directions, causing abnormal movements and posture of the head and neck. Botulinum toxin injections have been shown to correct the abnormal posture and movement, and reduce pain.