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A new type of drug called Reloxin appears safe and effective in reducing forehead wrinkles, a new study finds.
The use of Botox to reduce forehead wrinkles and frown lines has long been a mainstay of cosmetic medicine. The medication works by preventing face muscles from contracting, an effect that lasts for several months.
As an alternative to Botox, Reloxin is now approved in 23 countries outside the United States to smooth wrinkles, the researchers noted. The drug has also been used outside the United States for more than 15 years to treat neurological disorders.
One of the differences between Botox and Reloxin is that Reloxin has less protein in its formula, noted Kamran Jafri, MD, from Jafri Craniofacial Plastic Surgery, New York City. Reloxin also contains fewer antigens, which cause the drug to break down more quickly, said Jafri, who was not involved in the new study. "Theoretically, because Reloxin has less of a protein load, the body will break it down at a slower rate. That means from a clinical perspective that it should last longer than Botox," he said. "However, some of the early trials are showing that Botox actually lasts longer than Reloxin."
Another difference between the drugs is that Reloxin defuses more in the tissue than Botox, Jafri said. "Botox typically defuses in about a one centimeter radius. Reloxin can go anywhere from one to three centimeters," he said. "That's a good thing for the forehead, where you can give fewer injections, but it's a bad thing for, say, crow's-feet, where unless you are an experienced injector and you know the muscles very well, it could spread to other muscles and cause a droopy eyebrow or droopy eyelid," he explained.