Can BOTOX® Really Treat Depression?

stressed young woman in sweater on beach with cell phoneYou know BOTOX® has the power to lessen the severity of existing wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming, but did you know that there are many other uses for BOTOX® as well? In fact, this drug was originally developed as a treatment for neuromuscular disorders and eye problems like strabismus (crossed eyes). New research shows the injectable may also have potential as a treatment for depression; the science behind how it works may surprise you.

Facial Expressions and Your Mood

It was Darwin who first theorized that facial expressions have the power to convey and deepen emotions. When we smile, we feel our mood actually lift along with the corners of our mouths. In recent years, scientists have been studying the way that temporary paralysis of brows during wrinkle treatments using BOTOX® actually brought corresponding relief from depression.

One study on BOTOX® and depression showed that these injections helped 17 out of 33 study participants experience corresponding improvements—of up to 50 percent—in their symptoms.

The Takeaway

Beyond its potential as a possible treatment for depression, BOTOX® already shows great promise as a treatment for chronic migraine and has now been FDA-approved for this use. While this drug shows some promise as a treatment for depression, there is still more research needed.

In the meantime, medical professionals should be careful to avoid using BOTOX® or other drugs for off-label uses and stick to FDA guidelines. For now, let’s stick to BOTOX® as it’s currently indicated for its most popular usage: as a tried-and-true solution for the treatment of moderate facial lines and wrinkles.