A day never goes by that a patient doesn’t ask me how long their Botox results will last. And a day never goes by that I don’t tell them, “it depends on a lot of factors.” According to Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, results will usually last 3 months. However, what they fail to tell you is that this is only if you are receiving full therapeutic dosing, which according to them is somewhere between 25 to 30 units for each area. That means 25 units between the brows, 25 units in the forehead and 25 units in the crow’s feet. That’s 75 units in total. Its not very common that patients receive that much on one visit. They also fail to tell you that this does not mean that you will stay completely frozen until the last day of the 3 month cycle. What this means is that most all of the neurotoxin has gone away at the end of those 3 months. So if you think about the course of the 3 months, 1/2 of the neurotoxin would more than likely be gone around week 6-7. That translates into some muscle movement by week 6 to 7. Other factors also play a big role in the duration of your Botox, such as excessive workouts, metabolic rates and even medications/illnesses. We know that folks that have a very intense workout routine “metabolize” their Botox faster that less active patients. And finally, the biggest factor, in my humble opinion, is the amount of product used will always determine the result and duration of those results. When we “spread” smaller quantities of the Botox in various areas, less of the receptor sites will be blocked with Botox, leading to less freeze and subsequently wearing off faster. Many patients understand this and would rather come a little more often than to get a “harder” freeze or spend more for more units. There is some truth to the fact that over time the results do seem to last longer. However, this time is usually measured in years and this too varies from patient to patient.
And finally, the concern that providers “water down” their Botox or their Botox is “bad” can affect the outcome and duration of results. Ideally, seek out providers that do larger volumes of injectable work so that the Botox is always fresh and the provider would not risk their reputation by “watering down” the product. In the end, most providers want great results and happy patients. Just another reason to avoid doctor hopping.

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