5 Surprising Uses for Botox
Much more than simply a wrinkle freezer, these days, the injectable is being used for a bunch of shocking things. (Breast lift, anyone?)
Once upon a time in San Francisco, an ophthalmologist named Dr. Alan Scott sought a cure for crossed eyes. By the mid-'60s the good doctor realized that if he could just weaken the muscles that caused the crossing that he'd have the solution. Several attempts with various paralytic potions failed and then, one day, he got lucky. A biochemist who'd been working with a purified strain of botulism (as a potential military biological weapon) sent him some to try and, hooray, it worked. Dr. Scott named the drug Oculinum and got it FDA approved to treat those crossed eyes. In 1991, the miracle med was sold to Allergan for $9 million. They changed the name to Botox, secured some of their own FDA approvals, began marketing it as a wrinkle paralyzer and we all lived happily, furrow-free, ever after.
See five weird uses for Botox now.
It's amazing to think how, in less than 20 years that it's been FDA approved for the "treatment of glabellar frown lines," Botox has become a verb used in the vernacular with astonishing regularity, right up there with others like "TiVo" or "Xerox." But, because it's so famous for its wrinkle reducing effects, Botox's (many) other uses have been overshadowed.
With six FDA approvals for wide-ranging uses (and an estimated 90 patent applications pending), thanks to Botox, Allergan rakes in an astounding $1.3 billion worldwide on both medical and cosmetic uses. "The therapeutic [uses] will end up being bigger than the cosmetic [ones] because there are some big unmet medical needs there,” says David E. I. Puyott, Allergan's CEO, of the seemingly limitless future of the product.
So, if it's not just for wrinkles anymore, what else is Botox being used for -- both legitimately with FDA approval and "off label" with doctors experimenting in their own practices? From helping with benign enlarged prostates to working on several pancreatic disorders, Botox, as the "New York Times" says, is a crossed eye medication that can be "serially reincarnated for other applications."
Let's take a look at the most promising ones as well as the ones we'd raise our eyebrows at -- if we could…
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