Neuromodulators make wrinkles disappear, but what are they?
I spent the weekend in a conference room, 10 hours each day, both days. The room was too cold. The subject was not. The subject was one of the hottest topics in cosmetic dermatology: neuromodulators. And I am guessing that you have never even heard of the word.
It’s an awkward term that is born of political correctness. “Botox” has practically become generic for wrinkle removal. (It is so well known that Botox is to neuromodulator as Kleenex is to tissue). We needed a term that could describe the entire group of Botox-like drugs. Yes, indeed there are many Botox-like drugs. Some FDA approved, some soon to be approved. The truth is that Botox is just one of a few, soon to be many options.
What could possibly be better than the magnificent eraser of wrinkles? Dysport (pronounced “dis-port”) for one. Well, maybe not better but certainly right up there. Dysport is the first to follow Botox. It was approved a year ago and now has captured 20% of the neuromodulator market. There is that word again.
Let me pause to define: “neuro” relates to nerves and “modulator” refers to the ability to modify; neuromodulators (NM) like Botox work by decreasing nerve messaging to muscles resulting in relaxation of the targeted area (like the muscles of frowning).
Enough about vocabulary. Let’s talk about the stuff. Having more than one NM to choose from is great for consumers. We all benefit from having options. At this point I have treated thousands of patients with Botox and hundreds with Dysport. What is my take? The cost is essentially the same. It take two or three times as many units of Dysport compared to Botox but the per unit price is much less. Some patient’s feel that the Dysport kicks in sooner than Botox. Some think the duration of Dysport beats Botox, some don’t. The FDA declined to acknowledge any difference at all. I hate to bring up the Coke and Pepsi analogy but the truth is that some like one better than the other, some can’t tell the difference. Both products come from excellent, well respected companies. Allergan, makers of Botox also make Juvederm and Juvederm Ultra. Medicis, famous for Restylane is bringing us Dysport.
If you have never had either then you can’t make a wrong choice. If you have had Botox and are wondering if there is something better, go for Dysport, what have you got to lose? If you love your Botox, why change?
Here’s an inside tip, check out the rebates offered by the companies. Dysport has the “Dysport Challenge: Love It or Leave It” a truly generous offer that puts $75 in your pocket when you try Dysport and another $75 for a second treatment of EITHER Dysport or Botox. They are betting that if you try it you will like it. On the other hand Botox has “Brilliant Distinctions” a frequent flyer-type point system where you earn points for trying Botox and can “spend” your points for any Allergan product (Latisse for eyelashes, Juvederm or more Botox).
Now you know all about NM, but wait! There are two new NM’s coming out in the next year or two. I say, the more the merrier! Bring ‘em on!