Skin Home > What Is Botulinum Toxin Type A Used For?

Botulinum toxin type A is used for improving the appearance of facial lines. It can also be used to treat conditions ranging from cervical dystonia to strabismus to severe sweating. The drug works by inhibiting the action of acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits nerve signals. Off-label uses for botulinum toxin type A include the treatment of migraine headaches, drooling, and muscle spasms in children with cerebral palsy.

What Is Botulinum Toxin Type A Used For? -- An Overview

In 2009, the generic name for Botox was changed from "botulinum toxin type A" to "onabotulinumtoxinA." This was done to prevent confusion between Botox® and Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), a new botulinum toxin type A product.
We are no longer updating the information on botulinum toxin type A found in this article. Instead, you can click OnabotulinumtoxinA or AbobotulinumtoxinA to read up-to-date information on these medicines.


Botulinum toxin type A (Botox®) is a prescription medication approved for several different uses. Although the drug is well known for its ability to improve the appearance of facial lines, it is also approved for treating severe sweating and a few muscle spasm conditions.

Why Is Botulinum Toxin Type A Used for Facial Lines?

Botulinum toxin type A is approved to temporarily reduce the appearance of "frown lines" between the eyebrows in people 65 years old or younger. It is not approved for older individuals, as studies have suggested that the drug is less effective in this age group.
The beneficial effects of botulinum toxin type A for frown lines between the eyebrows last about three to four months. In order to maintain the effects, you will need to receive botulinum toxin type A injections periodically.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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