Botox Cosmetic celebrated its 10th birthday this year, and what a decade it has been! The drug that was originally created as a treatment for muscle spasms back in the 80’s, has since been used for everything from sweaty underarms to migraines. Don’t forget, of course, wrinkles; Botox Cosmetic was cleared for cosmetic use on April 12, 2002. So what has been going on with Botox Cosmetic, all of these years?
Take a look:
While the botulinum toxin had been known as a poisonous substance for hundreds of years, it was not until the 1950’s when researchers began looking at the beneficial uses for the drug. By the mid 1960’s, ophthalmologist Dr. Allen Scott began injecting botulinum toxin type A into monkeys, noticing the muscle relaxing properties would also correct strabismus (crossed eyes). Finally, in 1978, Dr. Scott was given approval for botulinum toxin trials on humans. His research showed many patient benefits, especially the temporary relief of face, neck, and vocal cord spasms.
By 1988, the pharmaceutical company Allergan, acquired the rights to distribute botulinum toxin type A, and took over Dr. Scott’s company. They began calling the drug, Botox Cosmetic. Studies continued, but then in 1992, a Canadian ophthalmologist noticed her Botox Cosmetic patients were getting the added bonus of a reduction in their frown lines. Physicians took quick notice of this new “off label” use, to the point in 1997 when the U.S. supply of Botox Cosmetic temporarily ran out – causing a short panic with its devotees!
Various FDA approvals for Botox Cosmetic slowly kept rolling in. In the spring of 2002, the official government go ahead was given to Botox Cosmetic, and Allergan immediately began its marketing blitz. Botox Cosmetic end-of-the-year sales topped $410 million dollars, making it one of the biggest pharmaceutical brand launches ever. By 2006, Botox Cosmetic revenue was over $1 billion, and over half of this was for cosmetic use.
Since its approval, Botox Cosmetic has had to contend with knock-off products, scam artists, and illicit internet sales. Warnings about fake Botox and shady injection sites have not hampered America’s love for botulinum toxin type A, though. Botox Cosmetic takes the top honor as America’s most popular, noninvasive cosmetic procedure. When administered by an experienced, board certified physician, Botox Cosmetic has shown itself to be a powerful and effective – and much loved – age fighting injection. Here’s to Botox, and another 10 wrinkle free years!