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Image of a woman's face to represent botox

Botox side effects and reactions – all you need to know

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ghada Morsy

Botox is undoubtedly one of the most popular cosmetic procedures out there with more than six million people worldwide undergoing some form of the treatment in 2019 alone.

But what are the most common Botox side effects? And is it possible to have a severe Botox reaction?

Fast facts

  • Best results

    1 session every 3-4 months

  • Duration of results

    2 to 6 months

  • Back to work

    Same day

  • Full recovery time

    3 weeks

  • Price range

    > 56 SAR per unit

  • Treatment duration

    10 minutes

  • Comfort

    Optional pain relief

  • Treatment type

    Minimally invasive

What is Botox?

Botox is the brand name of botulinum toxin, a type of bacteria that is injected into the skin. It works by blocking the signals sent from the nerves to small muscles and is most commonly used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, Botox injections can treat a variety of other conditions, such as sweating, muscle spasms, overactive blinking, and migraines.

What are the side effects and potential reactions to Botox?

There are a few common Botox reactions and side effects to be aware of.

Is Botox safe?

Unless it is injected in large quantities or by an inexperienced, untrained person, Botox is a safe procedure. Always go to a trained professional.

What are the short-term side effects and reactions?

Just as with any medical treatment, there are some common Botox side effects, including:

  • Pain and bruising in the treatment area.
  • Headache.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Dryness of the eyes.

These are common Botox injection side effects and should go away within a few days to a week. You might want to take a painkiller to help with any discomfort, and always call your doctor if you’re concerned.

Drooping eyelids can also sometimes happen when you have Botox injected into your forehead and the injection is given too low. This is because some of the Botox has moved into the upper eyelid and relaxed the muscles there. If this does happen, it isn’t permanent. Your practitioner can try to correct it using more Botox or you can wait until the toxin wears off in four to six weeks

What are the potential side effects and reactions?

Contact your doctor if you notice any of these Botox reactions in the weeks following your treatment:

  • Muscle weakness.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Vision deterioration.

Severe Botox side effects are generally rare and are typically caused when the toxin spreads to other areas outside the injection site. By choosing an experienced clinician, you can reduce the risk of this happening.

Are there other considerations?

No one has ever died from getting Botox, nor have there ever been any side effects to the brain. If you decide to stop getting Botox, you won’t experience any side effects, although you may notice that some lines and creases return.

How much does Botox cost?

The price of Botox varies depending on the treatment area, clinic, and the location of the clinic. The average price is around SR30 to SR35 per unit.

The number of units you will need varies depending on the treatment area and desired results. The forehead, for example, normally requires ten to 40 units, while the wrinkles around the eyes typically need around 24 units for both eyes.

How can I find Botox treatments near me?

Use our convenient clinic locator to find the best options near you.

Botox side effects facts

  • Designed to treat conditions like lazy eyes, muscle soreness and excessive blinking, Botox was first used as a medical treatment rather than having cosmetic purposes.
  • Botox freezes movement in the treatment area by blocking acetylcholine, causing the nerves and muscles to become temporarily paralyzed. The effects of Botox tend to last around 12 weeks.


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