The amount of time it takes for Botox to begin working depends on what medical condition the drug is being used to treat. The time frame can range anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Botox is the brand name for a diluted form of the poisonous protein botulinum toxin. Because the substance effectively blocks nerve signals in the muscles, it is prescribed for a variety of conditions.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), botulinum toxin has been used to treat muscle disorders such as lazy eye and excessive blinking since 1980. It has been used for cosmetic purposes, including lessening facial and neck wrinkles, since 1987. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Botox for the treatment of excessive sweating in 2004.
People who have dystonia suffer from involuntary muscle spasms and contractions. There are 13 different types of dystonia. The disorder can affect a single area of the body or multiple muscle groups.
According to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, it takes several days for dystonia patients who receive Botox injections to feel relief. The drug's effects are not permanent, usually lasting three to four months. Most patients find optimum relief about four weeks after being injected.
When a person's eyeballs are misaligned because they point in different directions, he or she is said to have strabismus, more commonly called lazy eye.
The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that patients who receive Botox for their strabismus can expect initial results anywhere from a few hours to a few days. As with dystonia, Botox treatments for strabismus last just a few months, but the treatments can cause a permanent, corrective change in eye alignment.
When Botox is injected into the muscles between the eyes and across the forehead, those muscles relax and the wrinkles formed by those previously contracting muscles gradually soften and smooth out.
Most people will notice their facial wrinkles have lessened about three to seven days after treatment, says the AAD. But again, the drug's effects only last three or four months.
People who sweat excessively nearly every day suffer from hyperhidrosis. The sweating usually occurs in their arm pits, feet and/or hands. When Botox is injected directly into the perspiring area, it blocks a nervous system chemical that is responsible for stimulating those sweat glands.
The International Aesthetic Foot Society reports most patients experience a 90 per cent decrease in sweating within the first 48 to 96 hours and complete relief within one week. As with the other conditions mentioned earlier, Botox isn't a cure for hyperhidrosis. However, the drug does seem to stave off sweating a bit longer. The International Hyperhidrosis Society says sweat sufferers can expect anywhere from 7 to 16 months of relief before needing additional injections.