Botox, or Botulinum toxin, a medication derived from a bacterial toxin, is commonly injected to ease wrinkles, migraines, muscle spasms, excessive sweating and incontinence. Researchers at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego, in collaboration with two physicians from Germany, may have found a new use thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Adverse Effect Reporting System (FAERS) database, in which nearly 40,000 people reported what happened to them after Botox treatment for a variety of reasons.
The study, publishing Dec. 21, 2021 in the journal Scientific Reports, found that people receiving Botox injections at four different sites — not just in the forehead — reported anxiety significantly less often than patients undergoing different treatments for the same conditions.
“A large number of diverse adverse effects are being reported to the FDA and the main objective usually is to find those harmful side effects that had not been identified during clinical trials,” said Ruben Abagyan, PhD, professor of pharmacy. “However, our idea was different. Why don’t we do the opposite? Why don’t we find beneficial effects?”