Botox Affects the Way Muscles Respond to Common Relaxant

Botox affects other muscles other than the ones it's injected into, according to an investigation published in the Jan. 2011 issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia.

The study, led by Christiane G. Frick, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, found that rats injected with Botox displayed lasting effects on muscles after injection. Botox also appeared to change the way muscles responded to a commonly used muscle relaxant, potentially affecting monitoring patients during mechanical ventilation or surgery.

The team conducted tests to evaluate the local, distant, immediate and delayed effects of Botox, which is used for cosmetic purposes as well as neuromuscular disorders. The researchers injected Botox into the tibialis muscle of the rat's hind leg. The injected muscle was completely paralyzed four days later, as expected, but the researchers also found some paralyzing effects on the opposite leg, which had not been injected.

The researchers found that the drug altered the body's response to atracurium, the muscle relaxant medication. The muscles injected with Botox were extremely sensitive to the effects of the drug, even after 16 days.

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