The form of botulinum toxin known as Botox Cosmetic will now carry indications for treating the fine lines that gather around the eyelids.
The injectable drug, which contains small amounts of the toxin produced by the clostridium botulinum bacterium, smooths away wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles, reducing the furrowed or gathered appearance of the skin attached to them.
With the approval, Botox Cosmetic becomes the only FDA-approved drug treatment for eye wrinkles; the drug is already approved for treating deeper frown lines between the eyebrows. A different form of the drug, Botox, is approved for relieving symptoms of migraine, severe underarm sweating, and eye spasms.
The botulinum toxin is the same one that can cause a fatal type of food poisoning, but the FDA says studies conducted by Botox Cosmetic’s manufacturer, Allergan, showed that the danger of the toxin spreading beyond the injection sites was small, and that no serious cases of such spreading have been reported since the drug was first approved in 2002. According to the FDA, the most common side effect involved swollen eyelids.
Read the FDA announcement, here.