Dysport is a protein called botulinum toxin type A. It was introduced on the United States market in 2009 and competes directly with Botox, which is also botulinum toxin type A. This protein is made by the bacterium that causes botulism, but you should not confuse the protein with the disease. Neither Dysport nor Botox can cause botulism and with millions of treatments over more than 2 decades, botulinum toxin has proven to be a very safe and effective drug for treating a myriad of disorders.
The differences between Dysport and Botox are subtle. Both products tend to last about 3 months when treating facial muscles. Dysport, however, may take effect a little quicker than Botox.
A Botox unit and a Dysport unit are completely different things. It is like miles versus kilometers. Just like 1.6 kilometers equal 1 mile, a certain number of Dysport units will be comparable to 1 unit of Botox. It seems as though that number is somewhere around 2.5 or 3 units of Dysport creating the same effects as 1 unit of Botox. While we can give an exact conversion for miles to kilometers, we will never have an exact conversion for Dysport to Botox. Just like with Botox, after we see the results of a Dysport treatment, we can tweak the dosage on subsequent treatments to produce the desired results.
Both products produce wrinkle improvement by relaxing muscles that cause wrinkles. Most notable is the muscle between the eyebrows called the corrugator muscle. This produces the “11” creases in what is called the glabella (the skin between the eyebrows).
Dysport works on many other facial creases including crow’s feet, forehead creases, chin creases, neck stringiness, creases on the side of the nose and creases on the inside corners of the lower eyelids. Also, Dysport can be used to turn the corners of the mouth, balance out asymmetry of facial expressions, or reduce bulky muscles on the sides of the jaw.
The side effects of Dysport are very similar to those of Botox®. The most common side effects are headache, nose and throat irritation, pain in the site injection, injection site skin reaction, upper respiratory tract infection, eyelid swelling, eyelid drooping, sinus inflammation, and nausea. Most patients experience little or no side effects when treated with Dysport injections.