The side affects .....by science correspondent David Deryshire of The Telegraph
"As with any pharmaceutical product, there are potential side-effects. Side-effects that can occur are known to be minor and of a temporary nature, including headache, respiratory infection, temporary eyelid droop, nausea and flu syndrome."In the 1980s, the drug was found to be an effective muscle relaxant. Doctors mostly use Botox for treating children with cerebral palsy and excessive sweating. It can also be used for pain from whiplash injury, facial wounds, stuttering and twitching.
Warning on long-term side-effects of Botox
The long-term effects of Botox, the anti-wrinkle drug favoured by ageing celebrities, are unknown, a leading neurologist has warned.
“Sir Cliff Richard, Lulu and Christine Hamilton are among the celebrities known to have used the treatment. Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Liz Hurley are also rumoured to have used it.
According to Dr Peter Misra, of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, Botox is being used "ahead of clear scientific evidence".
In an editorial in the British Medical Journal, he says the drug, a derivative of the deadly botulism toxin, is used to treat conditions based on anecdotal evidence and small-scale studies.
The fastest growing cosmetic treatment, Botox injections are used to reduce wrinkles. The toxin affects nerve endings, preventing the brain from sending messages that make muscles contract.
Studies have suggested that that the drug can also help with migraines and Parkinson's disease. Dr Misra said the toxin was licensed only for a few specific conditions in Britain, "based on clear scientific evidence of its efficacy and safety". These conditions include muscle spasms and stiffness, twitching and excessive sweating.
"Botulinum toxin is reported to be useful in more than 50 conditions," he added. "Some of the 'off-licence' indications are substantiated by some evidence, but its efficacy in several other conditions is based on anecdote and observations made in small numbers of patients."
Animal studies had shown that the toxin affects the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain while a version of the poison plays a part in inhibiting neurotransmitters, he said.
"Popular magazines and newspapers regularly report its use by celebrities from the film, television and music industries," he said.
"In this atmosphere of 'Botox parties' where champagne-sipping socialites are injected with botulinum toxin it is easy to forget that botulinum toxin is a potent neurotoxin and that its very long-term effects are still unknown."
Not all celebrities are fans of the treatment. Lynne Franks, the public relations guru and the inspiration for the television series Absolutely Fabulous, suffered side-effects including a drooped eye muscle when she had Botox injections in America in the late 1990s.
Sir Cliff Richard also complained about drooping eyelids after using the therapy.
Caroline Van Hove, a spokesman for Allergan, the company which makes Botox, said the treatment was "safe and effective" and had been studied for 20 years.
"Botox is currently used in over 70 countries and there has been no evidence to date of any long-term safety concerns associated with the treatment," she said.