How is botulinum toxin used for medical and comestic purposes when a very small dose can kill a person?


How is botulinum toxin used for medical and comestic purposes when a very small dose can kill a person?

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Botulism toxin paralyses muscle. But the dose (and place) makes the poison. Botox is using a very small amount and injecting it directly to muscles that the person wants to have look different.

Tiny quantities only in the right places.

Botox is only injected into the muscles, or salivary glands, or whatever else that need to be paralysed when used medically/cosmetically. It is a very tiny dose and care is taken to not inject it into a blood vessel, so that it is only in the desired place with negligible leak into the blood.

When you test something contaminated with botulinum toxin, it is a much bigger dose (this is relatively speaking when compared to the injections). That toxin gets absorbed from the GI tract and into the blood, where it then circulated everywhere and therefore to every muscle in the body. Boom, all muscles weakened then paralysed.

As with pretty much all things, the dose makes the poison. Even water is toxic if you drink too much of it.

Botulinum kills because if paralyzes a person’s muscles, including the diaphragm, which means the person can’t breath. A much smaller amount that’s only injected into a specific location isn’t going to cause systemic effects, but it will paralyze those local muscles, which is the desired effect both for cosmetic purposes and migraine relief.

There are quite a few “interesting” things we simply do not know about botulinum. The molecule is absolutely massive and should be to big to simply enter our bloodstream from the gi tract but yet it can.
It has been quite some years since i did a uni paper on botulinum and at the time there was very little research being done on the subject and i would guess there is little interest in knowing the finer details about how botox/botulinum moves through barriers that it should not because of its massive size

Botulism toxic paralyzes muscles, that’s both its medical use and how it kills you. If it gets somewhere it’s not supposed to be, like your thoat, diaphragm, or heart, that will kill you pretty fast. But if it’s somewhere like your face, it can paralyze those muscles and cause them to contract, lifting up your face. It can also be used to treat spasms of certain muscles. The trick is to use very little and only where it’s needed.