The different between Botox and Dysport, if any, is that Dysport, is a newer product and works better on the forehead and crow's feet, while Botox is more effective between the brow. Dysport is often thought to be cheaper than Botox, but that's because Botox and Dysport differ in quantity for what they call "one unit."
Botox is the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA, and is used to treat several medical conditions other than its popular use for smoothing facial wrinkles. Dysport (generic name abobotulinumtoxinA), is like Botox, used cosmetically to reduce wrinkless, but also has other muedical uses . Because they are both neurotoxins, Botox and Dysport are both believed to work in a similar fashion.
|Made from||Toxin produced by bacterium Clostridium botulinum||Botulinum toxin type A, produced by fermentation of bacterium Clostridium botulinum type A|
|Primary use||Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles||Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles|
|Other uses||Treats severe underarm sweating, cervical dystonia (contraction of neck and shoulder muscles), blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), strabismus (misaligned eyes), chronic migraine, overactive bladder.||Treats severe underarm sweating, cervical dystonia (contraction of neck and shoulder muscles), blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), strabismus (misaligned eyes), chronic migraine.|
|Application||Given as a number of tiny injections||Given as a number of tiny injections|
|How it Works||Weakens or paralyzing certain muscles, blocks certain nerves.||Relaxes muscle by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine.|
|Length of Effects||3 to 12 months, depending on what is being treated||3 to 6 months|
|Effective||4-7 days after injection||2-5 days after injection|
|Risks||May spread from injection area and affect other muscles.||May spread from injection area and affect other muscles.|
What is Botox?
Botox or OnabotulinumtoxinA is made from the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This is the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Botox belongs to a class of drugs known as neurotoxins and is used to treat several medical conditions, but its most popular use is the temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles.
What is Dysport?
Dysport (generic name abobotulinumtoxinA) is produced by the fermentation of bacterium Clostridium botulinum type A, also causing botulism. Dysport, also a neurotoxin, is a relatively newer product and like Botox, is mainly used for the temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles.
How It Works
Both Botox and Dysport are given as a number of tiny injections.
Botox weakens or paralyzes muscles near the injection site by blocking certain nerves, while Dysport relaxes muscles near the injection site by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine. When the nerves command the muscle to contract, there is no muscle response. Wrinkles are basically a result of the contracting of muscle; injecting a neurotoxin relaxes the muscles, causing less wrinkles.
The effects of Botox last three to 12 months, depending on what is being treated. The effects of Dysport are said to last three to six months.
How It Exits the Body
Both Botox and Dysport products naturally degrade into the body with time. The body may make new collagen in the areas where the cosmetic dermal fillers begin to slowly break down and degrade. How Botox leaves the body is explained in this very brief video:
Which is Better?
In a study conducted to compare which treatment is more effective for the smoothing fine lines around the eyes, doctors injected one side of participants' faces with Botox and the other side with Dysport, randomizing the sides among the patients. Participants preferred the results of Botox 33 percent of the time and Dysport the other 67 percent. However, there were only noticeable differences when participants contracted their facial muscles. There were no differences in results when participants' faces were relaxed.
Botox has a four to seven day onset before fully taking effect. Botox lasts longer and is said to diffuse less. Dysport has a two to five day onset before fully taking effect. Dysport lasts for less time and is said to diffuse more. However, a study  conducted by the Medical University of Vienna suggests that the diffusion characteristics of both products is similar.
This video explains how neurotoxins work and which works better, if at all:
Patients considering Botox should give detailed medical history to their doctor. Muscle or nerve conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease -- myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome should especially be maintained. Patients should also detail bleeding problems; history of seizures; hyperthyroidism; and lung or heart disease.
Patients considering Dysport should especially mention bleeding problems, any eye surgery, eye problems such as glaucoma, heart disease and breathing problems such as asthma, emphysema, aspiration-type pneumonia. They should also tell their doctors about muscle or nerve disorders such as Lou Gehrig's disease or myasthenia gravis, history of seizures and instances of dysphasia, or trouble swallowing.
Both Botox and Dysport can diffuse from the injection site and affect muscles other than those targeted. It is possible that muscles that control breathing and swallowing are affected. If this happens, patients may develop severe problems breathing or swallowing. These effects may last for several months and may even death. Patients who have difficulty swallowing may need to be fed through a feeding tube to avoid getting food or drink into the lungs.
Patients may experience common side effects from Botox: pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site; headache; dry mouth; neck, bone, or muscle pain; tiredness; nausea; constipation; anxiety; dry or irritated eyes; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Rare but serious side effects include double, blurred, or decreased vision; eyelid swelling; difficulty moving the face; seizures; irregular heartbeat; inability to empty bladder; pain or burning when urinating or frequent urination.
Some common side effects from Dysport include pain or tenderness in injection site, headache, dry mouth, neck, bone, or muscle pain, tiredness, and nausea. Rare but serious side effects include vision changes, eyelid swelling, itching, rash, hives, dizziness or fainting.
Allergic and Overdose Reactions
Patients may exhibit an allergic reaction to Botox. Symptoms of allergic reactions include itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, dizziness or feeling faint.
Symptoms of allergic reactions to Dysport include hives, difficulty breathing, feeling faint or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.
The symptoms of overdose are the same for both Botox and Dysport: serious muscle weakness, breathing problems and paralysis.
Botox and Dysport may interact with the following drugs: certain antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, gentamicin and polymyxin; anticoagulants such as warfarin; Alzheimer's disease drugs, such as donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and tacrine; myasthenia gravis drugs, such as ambenonium and pyridostigmine; and quinidine.
Botox is also used to treat the following disorders: severe underarm sweating; cervical dystonia (a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions); blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking); strabismus, (misaligned eyes); chronic migraine and overactive bladder.
Dysport is also used to treat the following disorders: severe underarm sweating; cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions); blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking); strabismus, (misaligned eyes); chronic migraine and overactive bladder.
- Split-Face Double-blind Study Comparing the Onset of Action of OnabotulinumtoxinA and AbobotulinumtoxinA - JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery
- Botox - NIH.gov
- AbobotulinumtoxinA Injection - NIH.gov
- OnabotulinumtoxinA Injection - NIH.gov
- OnabotulinumtoxinA - Allergan
- Botox Inj Uses and How to Use - HealthCentral
- Dysport IM Uses and How to Use - HealthCentral
- Dysport - RxList