Botox Side Effects

What are the potential side effects of botulinum toxin treatment?

Video Transcript:

Botox is an extremely safe medication and only has an effect close to the site it is injected into. It cannot travel to other parts of the body. When the local anaesthetic drops have worn off the eye can be a little uncomfortable, but paracetamol or ibuprofen based pain killers are all that is required.

- Ptosis

If the botox was to pass into other tissues close to the eye muscles, it can result in a temporary droopyness of the eyelid, known as a ptosis. This may last for 2-3 weeks, but will always recover spontaneously. A ptosis is more likely to occur with a medial rectus injection compared to a lateral rectus injection.

- Double vision

One of the most common reasons for carrying out a botox treatment is to determine whether an adult patient is at risk of developing double vision when their eyes are straightened. It is therefore not uncommon for some of these patients to experience a period of double vision when botox has straightened their eyes. This double vision usually recovers as the effect of the botox wears off and the eyes return to their old position.

Occasionally the botox can weaken neighbouring eye muscles causing a new vertical squint and this may also result in some temporary double vision.

- Scleral perforation

It is possible for the botox needle to pass through the outer coat of the eye during treatment, but this is an extremely rare occurrence. Like scleral perforation during squint surgery, there is a very small risk that this could result in a retinal detachment or an infection within the eye. The risk of scleral perforation is higher if there is a lot of scarring from previous squint or retinal surgery, or in very myopic eyes.