People who received injections of Botox (botulinum toxin) in certain conditions reported less depression than patients who did not receive injections for such diagnoses, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
“For years, clinicians have observed that injecting Botox for cosmetic reasons appears to relieve depression for their patients,” said Ruben Abagyan, a doctor of pharmacy and one of the study’s leading researchers.
“It is believed that relieving heavy frown lines in the forehead area disrupts feedback, which reinforces negative emotions. But here we found that the mechanism could be more complicated, because it doesn̵
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The research team at the Skags School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, met through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) database for side effects (FAERS) to see the side effects reported by nearly 40 000 people who received Botox injections for various reasons, according to a report from the university.
The treatment was not only in the forehead, but involved several different places, including the neck, limbs and forehead. The publication states that the researchers used an algorithm to find significant statistical differences between patients who used Botox and those who did not.
According to the researchers, depression was reported 40 to 88 percent less often than Botox users for six of the eight conditions and injection sites, according to the report.
“This finding is exciting because it supports a new treatment to affect mood and fight depression, one of the most common and dangerous mental illnesses – and is based on a very large amount of statistics, rather than limited large-scale observations,” Tigran Makuns, PharmD , one of the researchers in the study, said in a statement.
More research is needed to determine how Botox potentially acts as an antidepressant, according to the study. Researchers have several theories that need further study. For example, Botox is absorbed systemically to the central nervous system, which is involved in mood or emotions, they hypothesize or possibly Botox indirectly affects a person’s depression, as Botox helped relieve the underlying chronic condition, which may be a contributing factor to depression. of the patient.
Health experts say Botox is commonly used not only for cosmetic reasons, such as fighting wrinkles, but also for muscle spasms, tight muscles, migraines, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and other conditions, including excessive sweating and bladder conditions.
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The FAERS data used in this study were not collected exclusively for the purpose of studying the relationship between Botox and depression, according to the news release. The data is only a subset of Botox users who report negative side effects. The authors note that they excluded data from patients taking antidepressants; however, in some cases, the use of drugs may not be reported.
The publication said that a clinical trial is underway, which directly examines the treatment with Botox for people with depression, but only tests the injection sites on the forehead. The authors said additional clinical trials are needed to investigate which site is best to inject to treat depression.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people worldwide are depressed.