Almost every pregnant woman will face a decision about taking or using medicines before and during pregnancy. However, not all medicines are safe to take during pregnancy. Some medicines may cause birth defects, pregnancy loss, prematurity, infant death, or developmental disabilities.
Many women are tempted to use Botox during pregnancy because of the many Pregnancy-related skin changes that happen to many people. While some lucky ladies experience 9 months of pure complexion perfection, others experience at least one less favorable new or worsening skin issue at some point including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles during pregnancy.
What is Botox?
Botox Cosmetic is an injectable wrinkle muscle relaxer. A Botox treatment is minimally invasive. It’s considered a safe, effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It can also be used on the forehead between the eyes. Botox injections are noted primarily for the ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. They’re also used to treat conditions such as neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), an overactive bladder, and lazy eye. Botox injections may also help prevent chronic migraines.
Botox injections use a toxin called onobotulinumtoxinA to temporarily prevent a muscle from moving. This toxin is produced by the microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.
Botox was the first drug to use botulinum toxin. Other products now include abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport), rimabotulinumtoxinB (Myobloc), and incobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin). Each is a little different, particularly when it comes to dosage units, so they aren’t interchangeable.
How does Botox Cosmetic work?
Botox Cosmetic works by temporarily blocking nerve signals and muscle contractions. This improves the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes and between the eyebrows. It can also slow the formation of new lines by preventing the contraction of facial muscles.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure. It doesn’t involve incisions or general anesthesia. If you’re concerned about pain or discomfort, a topical anesthetic or ice can numb the treatment area.
During the procedure, your provider will use a thin needle to administer 3-5 injections of botulinum toxin type A, they will inject the targeted area between the eyebrows. You will usually need three injections on the side of each eye to smooth out crow’s feet. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 minutes.
Can You Get Botox While Pregnant?
No, you should avoid cosmetic Botox while pregnant or trying to get pregnant for the safety of your unborn child even though there is currently no proof that exposure to botulinum toxin causes birth defects. Although medicines like Botox are considered relatively safe during pregnancy, the effects of other medicines on your unborn baby are unknown. Certain medicines can be most harmful to a developing baby when taken during the first three months of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
It can be hard to know if a medicine is safe for your baby. Most medicines are not studied in pregnant women. That’s because researchers worry about how the medicines might affect the baby. But some medicines have been taken for so long by so many women that doctors have a good idea of how safe they are.
For Botox, some studies indicate that it can cause birth defects but the relatively small number of pregnancies being studied means much more information needs to be collected before this can be confirmed.
If you are pregnant and considering using Botox, discuss with your doctor or your healthcare provider about the risk and implications. Changes to hormones, your circulation, and your immune system during pregnancy affect your skin’s appearance and sensitivity. It’ll mostly get back to normal after you’ve had your baby.
Botox side effects
The botulinum toxin contained in Botox can spread to other body areas beyond where it was injected. This has caused serious life-threatening side effects in some people receiving botulinum toxin injections, even for cosmetic purposes.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects (up to several hours or several weeks after an injection):
• unusual or severe muscle weakness (especially in a body area that was not injected with the medication);
• loss of bladder control;
• hoarse voice, trouble talking or swallowing;
• drooping eyelids or eyebrows;
• vision changes, eye pain, severely dry or irritated eyes (your eyes may also be more sensitive to light);
• chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, irregular heartbeats;
• pain or burning when you urinate, trouble to emptying your bladder;
• sore throat, cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath; or
• eyelid swelling, crusting or drainage from your eyes, problems with vision.
Common Botox side effects may include:
• painful or difficult urination;
• headache, neck pain, back pain, pain in your arms or legs;
• cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
• trouble swallowing;
• fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
• increased sweating in areas other than the underarms; or
• bruising, bleeding, pain, redness, or swelling where the injection was given.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Botox: hives, itching; wheezing, difficult breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.