What is Xeomin®?
Xeomin® is a prescription medication used to effectively treat intramuscular conditions such as blepharospasm, or abnormal involuntary closing of the eyelid.
Xeomin is composed of botulinum toxin type A, a naturally occurring protein that is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Xeomin is injected into the affected muscles in order to reduce their activity. Xeomin does not stop the muscle from moving entirely; instead, it modifies the contractions. This is achieved by inhibiting a body chemical called acetylcholine from signaling all of the nerves within the muscle to contract.
Blepharospasm is a condition involving abnormal involuntary spasms of the eyelids. Injections of Xeomin administered into the muscles of the eyelid can help relieve spasms for many patients.
The number of injections necessary will vary from patient to patient, depending upon the number of muscles affected and the severity of the condition. The results of treatment with Xeomin are usually seen after one week and last, on average, up to 12 weeks.
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Benefits Of Xeomin Injections
Involuntary twitching of your eyelid muscles can be mild or more severe. In severe cases, the spasms can result in forceful eyelid closure that lasts for seconds, minutes, or even longer. Blepharospasm is the clinical term and it is thought to run in families.
Relief from these involuntary muscle contractions can relieve symptoms where the person’s eyes feel dry, irritated, and sensitive to light. In many cases, the symptoms become more prevalent as the day progresses.
People who suffer from blepharospasm often feel that everyone else is noticing their eyelids, so resolving the problem with Xeomin will help stem that issue with confidence along with the other problems caused by the twitching.
How Long Does Xeomin Provide Relief From Blepharospasm?
The rate at which the botulinum toxin that makes up Xeomin is absorbed by the body depends on the individual’s metabolism. Xeomin relaxes the injected muscles for a period of 3-4 months. At that point, your blepharospasm will likely return if your situation is chronic. Another Xeomin session at Maehara will continue to keep the muscles relaxed.
Botox Vs. Xeomin
Botox and Xeomin are both made from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that cause botulism. The botulinum toxin also exists throughout the natural world and can even be found in forest soils.
Both Botox and Xeomin relax muscles they are injected into.
The main difference is that Botox contains some additional proteins along with the botulinum toxin. Xeomin is made of only the botulinum toxin without any other ingredients. This has led to Xeomin being called “the naked injectable” by some doctors.
At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, we only use Xeomin for blepharospasm. We use Botox for the cosmetic treatment of lines and wrinkles on the upper third of the face. If a patient has a reaction to the proteins in Botox, Dr. Maehara may substitute Xeomin.
Are Xeomin Injections Painful?
Dr. Maehara injects Xeomin into the muscles controlling eyelid movement with a very tiny needle. Most patients equate the feeling of these injections to that of a pinprick. Topical numbing isn’t usually requested, but we often ice the injection sites briefly before placing the Xeomin.
Risks Of Xeomin Injections
While an effective medication for muscle spasms, treatment with Xeomin carries certain risks. Whether they occur hours or weeks after treatment, the following symptoms may be life-threatening and require urgent medical attention:
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing or breathing
- Muscle weakness throughout the body
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Drooping eyelids
- Change in voice quality
- Problems with articulation
- Loss of bladder control
How Long Does A Xeomin Treatment For Eyelid Spasms Take?
Unlike cosmetic injections with Botox, getting the muscles controlling the eyelids to calm down can require more injections and a little more time. Still, Xeomin treatments usually only take between 15 and 30 minutes.
You may have some slight redness and swelling at the injection sites, but this usually passes in just a few hours. Some patients develop a slight headache for the first day or so. Otherwise, there isn’t any recovery necessary after having Xeomin injections for eyelid spasms.
One thing that is important is for the patient not to rub the injection sites for 24 hours after your Xeomin session. That can make the botulinum toxin migrate to an unintended muscle and create problems such as a droopy eyelid.