Dysport is the Pepsi to Botox's Coke. Though it's been in use outside the United States for quite a while, Dysport has recently just hopped the pond to see if it can take a chunk out of Botox's market dominance. The manufacturer used the name Reloxin during the U.S. FDA trials but the FDA mandated that the name Reloxin be removed, so the product goes by Dysport in both the U.S. and Europe.
Dysport, like Botox, is a botulinum toxin that temporarily weakens facial muscles to reduce deep facial wrinkles. (Botulinum is the toxin that causes botulism.) Basically, it blocks the nerves that instruct your brain to wrinkle. The type of botulinum toxin in Dysport differs slightly from Botox, however, Dysport uses abobotulinumtoxinA, while Botox uses onabotulinumtoxinA.
What It's Good For
Dysport treats glabellar lines (vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows) with great success. It may also be more effective than Botox for treating crow's feet, according to a report released in 2010.
Who it works for: Dysport, like its colleague Botox, treats "dynamic" wrinkles - those that appear when you move your face. Frowning, squinting, and laughing cause these wrinkles in motion.
Recommended age range: Dysport can treat patients over 18 and under the age of 65.
When will I see results?: Treatment results become visible two to three days after injection. Results can continue to improve over two weeks. The injected muscles can become swollen or bruised afterward, though this side effect is invariable short-lived.
How long it lasts: Dysport injections last an average of two to three months. The lucky ones get to enjoy the results for five to eight months. Wait 90 days between injections.
Key benefits of Dysport: Dysport can reduce glabellar lines by 90%. Dysport has a slightly lower protein count than Botox (4.35 ng of proteins versus Botox's 5 ng). This seemingly small number can make a difference.
Proteins are the primary reason behind allergic reactions to injectables. Dysport's lower protein content theoretically means the body may be less likely to be allergic to Dysport than Botox.
Doctors who have used both Dysport and its main competitor, Botox, say that Dysport tends to spread more than Botox, making it more useful for wrinkles over a wider area, such as forehead wrinkles. This is anecdotal and unproven to date.
Licensed uses: Dysport was approved by the FDA in May 2009 for forehead wrinkles. The injectable is also approved in 36 other countries. Dysport can also treat adults with cervical dystonia - an uncomfortable condition where the neck spasms involuntarily.