Dysport is a relative newcomer to the U.S. medical and cosmetic treatment scene. On April 29, 2009, the FDA approved its use by dermatologic specialists as a temporary remedy for moderate to severe facial lines on the forhead, mouth and eyes. In October 2009, the FDA approved its use by neurological specialists to treat adults who suffer the pain and discomfort of cervical dystonia.
Although Dysport is a mere infant in the United States, this purified botulinum type A toxin has provided effective solutions for cosmetic and medical purposes over the past 20 years in other countries. Seventy-three of these countries use Dysport for the care and treatment of neuromuscular and/or nerve disorders, such as tick disorders, other involuntary muscle contractions, some conditions associated with cerebral palsy and excessive sweating (called hyperhidrosis). Twenty-three countries approved Dysport as a temporary cosmetic remedy for what specialists call glabellar lines.
Dysport as a Cosmetic Anti-Wrinkle Treatment
Glabellar lines appear as a result of ongoing muscle movement in the face over time; the simple acts of smiling, frowning, squinting, raising the eyebrows, or other facial expressions leave their mark around the eyes (Crows Feet), between the eyebrows (frown lines), or around the mouth. Dysport is an injectable product, similar to Botox, which prevents nerve signals from reaching the muscles in the face. This, in turn, immobilizes the muscles, which allows the skin to once more become smooth.
Dysport must be injected, in small doses, into the muscles directly beneath the skin of the area where results are desired. Typically, a dermatologist will inject anywhere between 3 and 5 doses of Dysport in one sitting; the whole procedure is performed in office and lasts between 10 and 20 minutes. Patients usually notice results within a few days of the procedure after the medicine has had ample time to absorb.
Dysport as a Treatment for Cervical Dystonia
Cervical Dystonia is triggered when muscles in the neck contract involuntarily, causing the neck to twist repeatedly at intervals. This type of movement disorder puts an undue amount of stress at the top of the spinal column - the neck - and can result in physical discomfort and an abnormal neck posture that can potentially cause or exacerbate other health problems. Patients who suffer this condition complain of physical neck pain and an overall fatigue due to continual muscular activity.
Since movement disorders of this type appear to stem from the basal ganglia -- the portion of the brain that acts as the catalyst for muscle movement -- a neurologist, or specialist in neuromuscular activity, is the desired healthcare professional to administer Dysport injections.
Dysport is injected into the muscles, with the intention of weakening the muscles and reducing the severity of contractions. The positive therapeutic effects of Dysport can last anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks, or longer, and studies show that Dysport has reduced the problematic symptoms of cervical dystonia.
While the United States has only approved Dysport for the treatment of facial wrinkles and cervical dystonia, other european countries most commonly use the product for those reasons, plus the following:
- Blepharospasm - a disorder within the dystonia category where the muscles around the eyes twitch involuntarily and intermittently.
- Hemifacial spasm - also a form of dystonia, this condition is differentiated by recurrent muscle spasms on one side of the face.
- Hyperhidrosis - this condition is characterized by excessive sweating under the arms, and Dysport treatments work by preventing nerve signals from reaching the sweat glands.