Will I die from Botox?

Botox has always been a controversial topic amongst people, especially those who do not understand what it actually is and how it works, forming their skewed perception towards Botox only from its bad publicity. Long term users may also still have a fear towards it whenever mishaps of Botox are being reported. So, is Botox really so dangerous and will I die from it? Should I stop my relatives or friends from getting Botox, or should I actually try it like they recommended? These are questions and dilemmas that many people face, and today we will address this problem for you.


What is Botox and How Does it Work?

Before we judge the risks VS the benefits of Botox, we should first understand what Botox actually is. Botox comes from a neurotoxin derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and was first discovered in the 1950s. The name Botulinum Toxic has then been shortened to Botox. Botox is injected into the muscle to block the motor nerves from releasing a certain chemical that controls motions, allowing the muscle to relax and impedes any muscular contractions. Botox can be used medically to paralyse the muscles or nerves that are overactive and causing problems to people. It is also used cosmetically to remove wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily paralyzing muscles.

botox being administered
Image 1.1: Botox being administered Source: https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/beauty/birth-botox/

What is Botox used for?

Botox can be used for many reasons both medically and cosmetically. Botox is effective in treating problems like sweaty palms or over-sweating in the armpits, stop teeth grinding, prevent migraine headaches, help with overactive bladder, and can even aid in stroke rehabilitation. Botox provides an effective solution that can last for months or even years for people suffering from these conditions. Botox is also much better than other solutions that treat “externally”, as it deals with the problem at its root, effectively stopping the muscles and nerves that are causing the problem.

botox on hand
Image 2.1: Botox used to treat sweaty palms Source: https://premier-clinic.com/our-services/treat-excessive-sweating-with-botox-bf/


Cosmetically, Botox is used to reduce wrinkles and fine lines found on the face, neck and hands. This give your skin a fresh and rejuvenated look, making you look much younger instantly. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and the face especially is what forms the first impression people have of you. Hence, it is of utmost priority when it comes to outlook maintenance, and Botox is arguably the fastest and most effective solution.

before and after botox
Image 2.2: Before and after Botox was used on wrinkles Source: https://www.acupfullofsass.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/IMG_5904.jpg

Risks of Botox

As per all medical treatments and procedures, Botox treatments also has its inherent risks. Some of the side effects of Botox includes:

  • Discomfort
  • Mild swelling
  • Slight bruising at the injection site

These side effects are not lethal and usually subside within hours to a few days, and should not be too much of a concern.


Death caused by Botox

In the WORST-case scenario, I mean going crazy and injecting bottles and bottles of Botox. So the question “will I die from botox” Yes, Botox overdose can result in death in EXTREME cases. In rare & extreme (30 bottles can be considered extreme) cases, when the toxin spreads to other parts of the body, it can paralyze or weaken the muscles used for breathing and swallowing, potentially leading to death. Botulinum toxin causes death from respiratory failure by entering nerves and destroying vital proteins. This stops communication between nerves and important muscles that control breathing.

Based on the LD50 toxicity scale, used to measure how much of a substance is needed to kill half the people it is given to, Botox measures just 0.000001 mg/kg. In Botox treatments, the quantities used are miniscule, a few billionths of a gram, and is dissolved in saline. This amount is safe for use in Botox treatments. Treatment should follow the indication specific dosage and administration recommendations strictly. The lowest recommended dose should always be used. For adult patients that are getting Botox at multiple areas, the maximum cumulative dose should not exceed 400 Units, within a 3 months interval. So if you are not planning to get 3000 Units during one session you do not have to worry.

Botulinum bottle
Image 4.1: 100 units of Botox per vial Source: https://www.mountainside-medical.com/products/botox-botulinum-toxin-100-unit-vial

In usual treatments, the average number of units of Botox administered is 5. When dealing with wrinkles that span across a larger surface area such as forehead wrinkles, a maximum of 30 units of Botox might be administered.  Hence, you should never have to exceed 400 units within 3 months, and Botox overdose should never be a concern.

How much botox will you need
Image 4.2: Number of units of Botox required Source: https://www.utahfacialplastics.com/2015/07/27/how-much-botox-will-i-need/

All in all, Botox is a safe and extremely effective treatment method to allow you to return to a youthful and rejuvenated look. You just have to do the necessary consultations and make sure that your doctor is a really experienced and certified one, who has produced many successful results. Also, never be greedy and seek repeated treatments within a short period of time. With that, you are on the way to erasing all the signs of old age!

Read more about what to expect during every botox treatment!

Written by: Lim Jun Tian


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