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Botulinum Toxins Such as Botox and Dysport May Offer Price Effective Treatments for Depression

January 5, 2010 |

According to an article in the January 2010 edition of Drugs In Dermatology (abstract available at ), the use of botulinum type A toxins such as Botox and Dysport may offer a cost efficient alternative to the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Kenneth Beer MD, who authored the article, says that he began to consider the possibility that injections of Botox and Dysport might be cost effective after reading an article by Finzi et al published in the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Beer then began to notice that many of his patients began to feel better after they started to look better.According to Dr. Beer, “So many people take medications for depression that I wondered whether injections with type A botulinum toxins could offer them a better alternative. I collected some very preliminary data comparing the costs of each of the therapies and was surprised at the results.”

Dr. Beer cautions that this report needs to be validated with a larger study and he hopes that such a trial will be initiated under the auspices of the National Institute for Mental Health.


The standard of care for the treatment of depression involves pharmacologic therapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Cognitive therapy is typically utilized in addition to a pharmacologic intervention. However, the benefits of the drugs used may be marginal compared with placebo yet the costs associated with their use continue to increase. One potential treatment for depression utilizes botulinum toxins. At the present time there is a small body of evidence supporting their use for depression, the potential efficacy and cost effectiveness of this treatment warrants further consideration including head to head clinical trials.

 Source:  Kenneth Beer, MD January 4, 2010

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Comments (1)

  1. Okay so does the type A. bot toxin itself directly improves depression or is it just the placebo effect of knowing that you look better?

    On the top of my head I’m thinking that as long as it solves the depression of clients then its okay. If its just a placebo then it might only be suitable for a certain demographics who value the treatment. If its really Bot. toxin, then its even better.

    Anyway, thanks for the news and the link. I’m off to read the whole article. 🙂

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