In Canada – We only had one thing to save us from frowning and looking angry even when we were not – Botox® was the only game in town to treat pesky frown lines and other wrinkles made worse by repeated action of some facial muscles. Well, earlier 2012 – Health Canada approved another form of botulinum toxin type A – Xeomin®. Not only was it approved, but it is also available for the treatment of frown lines. That’s right – for the very first time in Canada consumers and doctors will have a choice in the product they choose to treat frown lines. The question is – is Xeomin® (the brand name of the new product) the same, worse or better than Botox®?
What is Xeomin®?
Xeomin® is a form of botulinum toxin type A that is free from complexing proteins. This is in contrast to Botox®, which is also botulinum toxin type A but it also has other complexing proteins. The significance of this difference for doctors and patients is not fully known and, at this point, it may just be semantics. Xeomin is a neuromodulator (similar to Botox ® and Dysport ®) that is used to treat and prevent the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. It is an injectable botulinum toxin type A serum, a purified protein derived from bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Xeomin is used to reduce muscle contractions that result in dynamic wrinkles and lines.
How does Xeomin® differ from Botox®?
As mentioned above, Xeomin® and Botox® have the same active ingredient – botulinum toxin type A. The products are vacuum packed and are stabilized in a glass container. Botox®, in addition to the active molecule, also has complexing proteins whereas Xeomin® does not. The significance of this difference, as mentioned, is not currently known.
In addition to some differences in product composition, Xeomin® can be stored at room temperature as opposed to Botox® which needs to be refrigerated. This subtle difference makes Xeomin® a little easier to handle, as it is more eco-friendly. Both products need to be refrigerated after the molecules have been reconstituted. Both Xeomin® and Botox® come in medical as well as cosmetic forms such as Xeomin Cosmetic™ and Botox Cosmetic™.
What can Xeomin® be used for?
Each new product is specifically approved to treat a particular condition and, in the case of Xeomin®, it is approved in Canada for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines, also known as frown lines between the eyebrows. That approval was based on a large number of studies that assessed it effectiveness and safety in more than 800 patients. In these studies, Xeomin® has been compared to a placebo (injections that did not contain any active ingredient). The results were very impressive with the Xeomin® treated patients having an improvement in frown lines compared to those that did not receive active drug.
Benefits of Xeomin®
Xeomin contains no additives – just botulinum toxin type A. This purity may reduce instances of allergic reactions and the development of resistance to Xeomin treatments, which occasionally occurs with other neuromodulators.
Xeomin treatments are also:
- Fast and relatively painless
- Safe and effective
- Lasts 4-6 months on average
- No downtime
- An alternative to Botox and Dysport for patients who have developed resistance to those treatments
Am I a good candidate?
If you have any visible wrinkles caused by contracting muscles in the face (e.g., crow’s feet, smile lines, frown lines, bunny scrunch lines), you may be a good candidate for treatment with Xeomin.
Do not have Xeomin injections if you:
- If you are allergic to Xeomin or any of its ingredients or have had allergic reactions to Botox, Dysport or any botulinum toxin products
- Have a skin injection at the injection sites
- Are pregnant, may be pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- Have any neurological disorders (such as myasthenia gravis, ALS, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome)
- Have had, or are planning to have, surgery to your face
- Have breathing problems, such as asthma
- Have swallowing problems
- Have bleeding problems
For more information on Xeomin contraindications, please speak to your doctor and read the Xeomin Important Safety Information.
After the treatment
Do not rub the injection sites and avoid lying down for 4 hours after your treatment. Avoid excessive heat and strenuous exercise for 24 hours.
Recovery time: No downtime. It may take up to 1 week for any minor bruising to disappear.
How many treatments will I need?
The benefits of Xeomin are usually most noticeable after 1 week, and results last from 3-6 months, making it comparable to Botox.
Other treatment options
Other treatments that offer similar benefits as Xeomin include:
- Botox cosmetic
Xeomin® and Xeomin Cosmetic™ are the registered marks of Merz Pharma.
Botox® and Botox Cosmetic™ are the registered marks of Allergan, Inc.