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Understanding How OnabotulinumtoxinA Works and Its Effectiveness

How Does OnabotulinumtoxinA Work?

OnabotulinumtoxinA is a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The drug works by decreasing nerve signals to muscles, which helps them to relax. It enters nerve cells and inhibits the release of acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits signals from nerve to nerve. The actions of the medication are not permanent, and the muscle will eventually recover and return to its previous state.
 
For severe sweating, onabotulinumtoxinA works similarly, blocking the release of acetylcholine from the nerve cells that stimulate the sweat glands.
 

Clinical Effects of OnabotulinumtoxinA

Studies have evaluated this medication to treat frown lines between the eyebrows. In studies, up to 82 percent of people who received onabotulinumtoxinA injections saw significant improvement one week afterward, compared to just 9 percent who had received placebo injections, which did not contain any active ingredient.
 
This effect lasted for at least 60 days, after which time the effects appeared to gradually decrease. At 120 days after the injections, 39 percent of people still saw improvement. Studies have also shown onabotulinumtoxinA to be effective for treating crow's feet.
 
For cervical dystonia (muscle spasms of the head and neck), studies showed that the injections help relieve neck pain and abnormal head positioning, compared to placebo injections, which contain no active ingredient. In most people, the beneficial effects were gone after about three months.
 
Studies for severe underarm sweating showed that up to 86 percent of people who received onabotulinumtoxinA injections decreased their sweat production by 50 percent or more, compared to up to 45 percent of people receiving placebo injections (with no active ingredient). The beneficial effects lasted an average of 200 days.
 
Studies have also shown that the injections can improve eyelid twitching or spasms (blepharospasm) and misaligned eyes (strabismus) caused by abnormal muscle contractions.
 
Studies have shown that this medication can decrease urine accidents in people with neurologic bladder problems and in people with overactive bladder, and can decrease the frequency of urination in people with overactive bladder. 
 
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OnabotulinumtoxinA Drug Information

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