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Xeomin: A More Cost Effective BOTOX Alternative?


The newly FDA approved botulinum toxin Xeomin may offer patients a less expensive way to address their wrinkles.

As more consumers continue to seek non-surgical options to address signs of aging, new treatments are becoming readily available and at better prices. Everyone knows what BOTOX is and while a recent competitor, Dysport has joined the market, it is the newly FDA approved neurotoxin Xeomin that may give BOTOX a run for it's money, literally.

botox alternative xeomin
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According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), botulinum toxins, including BOTOX and Dysport, were the most popular nonsurgical procedure in 2010. While the economy continues to struggle, Allergen, the makers of BOTOX posted a 7% increase in earnings from second to third quarter of 2011, totaling $360.5 million. In a time-starved environment and with money being tighter than ever, more patients have turned to BOTOX and it's alternatives to smooth out their wrinkles instead of investing in more permanent and costly surgical results such as facelifts

According to Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Grant Stevens, "Xeomin is a neurotoxin; it is helpful for reducing wrinkles and it achieves the same results that BOTOX does." Dr. Stevens' practice, Marina Plastic Surgery Associates, will be one of the first in the country to offer Xeomin as an alternative to BOTOX. According to the manufacturer, Merz Pharmaceuticals, the product could be available nationwide as soon as early spring 2012.

Similar to BOTOX, Xeomin is a neurotoxin that is injected directly into the muscle to relax and smooth out the wrinkle. FDA approved for treating glabellar (frown lines), Xeomin may also be used off-label to treat fine lines, wrinkles and Crows Feet, much like BOTOX. Xeomin also has a unit-to-unit equivalence that BOTOX alternative Dysport lacks, which makes it more physician friendly since there are no new dosages to learn.

Unlike BOTOX or any other botulinum toxin, Xeomin does not require refrigeration before reconstitution and it also differs from BOTOX on a molecular level. "Xeomin appears to work the same as BOTOX but it differs in that it is a smaller molecule," describes Dr. Stevens. The molecular difference is due to Xeomin's lack of complex proteins, which might be beneficial for some patients who have had allergic responses to BOTOX.

"The interesting thing about Xeomin is it works the same way as Botox; it turns off the muscle that forms the wrinkle," states Dr. Stevens, "By getting Xeomin, we can reduce wrinkles in the face and it's much cheaper." Dr. Stevens estimates the cost of the Xeomin treatment to be nearly half of how much BOTOX costs now.

Dr. Stevens anticipates that both neurotoxins will work in the same fashion with similar results lasting roughly the same amount of time with the main difference being the price point. With a lower price, Xeomin may become more popular and it may be the tipping point for patients already considering an aesthetic procedure or for patients simply looking to save a few dollars.