Botox vs. Dysport – What’s the Difference?

Is one better than the other?

We tend to think of Botox and Botulinum Toxin in the same breath, but Botox is just a brand name, like how “Kleenex” has become synonymous with tissue paper. And, much like Kleenex, competitors exist on the market, and one is called Dysport.

Dysport and Botox both originate from botulinum toxin type A, but there are some subtle differences. One such difference is the amount of dilution in the medication. A vile of Dysport contains 500 Units of the toxin and 125 micrograms of albumin and is usually diluted to 200 U/ml. Meanwhile, Botox has 100 Units of toxin, 500 micrograms of albumin, and is diluted to 25-50 U/ml. Both medications work the same way, however, by weakening the facial muscles.

Another difference is cost. Botox injections can run anywhere between $300 and $500 each. Dysport, however, is Botox’s competitor, having been FDA for cosmetic purposes relatively recently. Dysport injections typically cost less than Botox injections, topping off at about $300. But a little competition is healthy, and market competition can compel brands to lower their prices down the road.

A study was performed to compare the two drugs in 2011.  Results showed that while Dysport improved the appearance of crow’s feet better than Botox, these results were only visible when the patients contracted their facial muscles as much as possible. There was no noticeable difference when muscles were at rest.

Side effects are generally mild-to-non-existent for both medications, but can include: injection site pain, flu-like symptoms, muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, and more. More severe side effects such as chest pain, trouble swallowing, speech problems, and allergic reactions should be brought to the attention of a physician.

As always, the best way to decide which option is right for you is to consult your plastic surgeon.

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