Ask Dr. Peirson – BOTOX vs XEOMIN : Is there a difference? Which treatment is right for me?
BOTOX vs XEOMIN : Is there a difference? Which treatment is right for me?
ArtMed offers both Botox and Xeomin for treatment of wrinkles related to facial muscle movement (forehead lines, crow’s feet, frown lines etc.). These prescription medications are derived from a naturally occurring neurotoxin protein in the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The protein prevents muscles from contracting for three to four months and then it is broken down by the body. The use of botulinum toxin for treatment of cosmetic wrinkles was first observed in 1989 by Canadian ophthalmologists Drs. Jean and Alastair Carruthers. Botox was the first neurotoxin to become commercially available. In time other similar botulinum toxins followed. In Canada there are four licensed cosmetic toxins: Botox, Xeomin, Dysport and Myobloc.
So what is the difference between these different neurotoxins in terms of treating cosmetic wrinkles?
Botox is the brand name most people are familiar with because it has been available the longest – since 2002. Botox is manufactured in Ireland by pharmaceutical leader Allergan which is also the maker of Juvéderm, Latisse and Belkyra. The toxin in Botox is derived from Clostridium botulinum bacteria. In addition to the toxin there are ‘complexing’ proteins attached to the toxin. There are some studies which suggest that these proteins may trigger the immune system to create antibodies against Botox. The additional proteins may also lead to a slightly longer period before Botox takes effect. However, some believe that the additional proteins attached to the toxin provide a stronger ‘feeling’ of immovability after treatment. Some people like this feeling and others may describe it as a bit heavy. Botox has the longest history of use and is used both cosmetically and medically and is more commonly prescribed for treatment of migraine and excessive sweating.
XEOMIN® Cosmetic™ is manufactured in Germany by well known pharmaceutical giant Merz which also makes Radiesse (a collagen boosting filler), Rosiver for rosacea and Tactu for acne which are products we commonly prescribe at ArtMed. Xeomin has been available in Canada since 2009. Unlike Botox, Xeomin has no complexing proteins attached to the toxin. It is sometimes referred to as ‘naked botox.’ What this means is that there may be less of a chance that an individual could develop resistance to the effects of Xeomin whereas this can occasionally but rarely happen with Botox. Because Xeomin is a smaller molecule it has a faster onset of action as well. Where Botox may take 7-14 days to take effect, Xeomin is more likely to be fully effective within 4-7 days. Xeomin is also used both cosmetically and medically. Some people describe it as feeling ‘lighter’ than Botox.
Botox and Xeomin are dosed the same way. There are many medical studies that support the fact that treatment results are the same between these two toxin products and thus Botox and Xeomin are virtually interchangeable. The price is the same as well.
It is worth noting though that Xeomin is the only botulinum toxin product currently approved in Canada that does not require refrigeration prior to reconstitution and therefore is packaged and shipped using 100 percent recyclable packaging material. So Xeomin is in fact the greenest choice among the toxins.
Allergan has a rewards program called Brilliant Distinctions for Botox users (points earned with Botox are in the range of $20-30 per treatment and can be redeemed for coupons towards any Allergan products including Botox, Juvéderm and Latisse). Merz has a rewards program for Xeomin called the Merz XPerience Program (rebate of $50 per Xeomin treatment up to $200 per year).
Dysport and Myobloc are also botulinum derived toxins. Like Botox they have complexing proteins associated with them. However, they are dosed differently than Botox and Xeomin. The cost of Dysport and Myobloc are approximately the same as Botox and Xeomin. Most aesthetic clinics will offer Botox and one alternative such as Xeomin or Dysport or Myobloc. At this time, we do not offer Dysport or Myobloc at ArtMed.
In the end it is a personal choice as to whether you would like to use Botox or Xeomin for treatment of dynamic wrinkles. In our estimation both of these neurotoxins have an excellent record of safety and are equally effective although we do favour less packaging and a greener option when possible (which favours Xeomin).
At ArtMed the regular price for toxins is $10.50/unit. We offer loyalty pricing on both Xeomin and Botox which means when you pre-book your next Botox or Xeomin appointment you will receive 10% off. Manufacturer rewards programs can additionally be applied. We also periodically offer membership pricing on Botox or Xeomin where there may be further savings. We will keep you posted with respect to membership opportunities via e-blasts, Instagram and on our website.