New Studies Support Idea Botox Treats Depression

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Dr Elenora Fedoneko

Botox is a well-known drug used to treat fine lines and wrinkles as well as certain muscular conditions and severe underarm sweating with great success. OnabotulinumtoxinA (OBA) injections help to paralyze certain muscles or block nerves temporarily. As it relates to wrinkle treatment, Botox improves skin’s overall appearance by affecting facial nerves and relaxing muscles.

According to a new study published in May in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Botox potentially has another appropriate use: treating depression. The study supports an already tested idea that facial expressions (i.e. frowning), aided by Botox injections, affect levels of depression. When the muscles that control frowning are impaired, patients with major depression report improved conditions.

The study conducted was a randomized, double blind and placebo-controlled trial. Seventy-four subjects involved in the study had DSM-IV major depression and either received one Botox injection or one saline injection, the latter of which acted as the placebo. The injections focused on the corrugator and procerus frown muscles. Subjects were rated at their screening and at three and six weeks after their injections. The study was conducted in an outpatient clinical research center.

The study revealed that over 50 percent of individuals suffering from moderate to severe depression improved their symptoms with a Botox injection, which inhibited frowning. A single treatment of OBA seemed to create a significant and prolonged antidepressant effect. Of those who received a Botox injection, 47 percent showed improvements versus only 21 percent of those injected with the placebo.

It also confirmed that patients with exaggerated frown lines suffered more intense sadness. Thus, facial expressions, and how they are controlled, greatly affect the way someone feels. Botox was able to correct frown lines and give patients a more relaxed feeling in the face. It improved their feelings of happiness and wellbeing. The study suggests Botox may work as a stand alone treatment for depression.

Another study, published in August, suggest a similar conclusion regarding Botox and major depressive disorder (MDD). OnabotulinumtoxinA injection in the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose, or glabellar region, improved depressive symptoms and is considered a possible treatment for MDD.

This is all good news, as an estimated one in 10 US adults suffer from depression. Individuals suffering from major depression usually are age 45-64, women, have little education, were previously married, are unable to work or unemployed or do not have health insurance.

Botox continues to be explored as a solution with little risks for both cosmetic and medical conditions. To learn more about Your Laser Skin Care’s Botox injections services in Los Angeles, call our office at (323) 525-1516 or visit us online at to schedule a free consultation.

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Meet Dr. Fedonenko

Dr. Fedonenko is a member of the American College of Physicians and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

She completed her Residency at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1998 and has since specialized in Cosmetic Dermatology.

She obtained additional training in aesthetic medicine procedures soon thereafter, and the results of her extensive training and experience show in each and every patient’s face. She’s a doctor that can truly been trusted with your skin care and anti-aging needs.

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