Botox is known for helping in the reduction of the appearance of wrinkles by relaxing facial muscles. But what many do not know is that it can also be used to help treat medical conditions such as migraines or involuntary muscle contractions.
A French research team has found that of their nearly 200 patients treated with Botox through last July, only two showed signs of COVID-19. For comparison, they pointed out that 4.4% of the French population was already infected with the virus.
Worldwide, about 6 million Botox treatments were performed in 2019. The French study at Montpellier University Hospital involved 193 patients, three-quarters of whom were women (146). They were, on average, in their fifties. All subjects had received Botox to treat a medical conditions.
Not a single positive case
They were all followed for three months after receiving Botox injections to see whether or not they had contracted the virus. Although there were two suspected cases, none of the participants ever tested positive for Covid-19.
One 53-year-old woman presented symptoms after returning from a trip but tested negative. None of the patients were hospitalized, the research team wrote in the Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
A 'significant difference'
The team said:
Our results show a significant difference between the number of infected individuals in the general population and the number of patients injected with Botox who showed signs of covid.
To suggest that Botox could protect against Covid-19, the team pointed to a 64-year-old woman from Lozere in southern France who received treatment with the toxin. According to the experts, she was the only one from her village not to have caught the virus.
They also pointed to a 46-year-old woman who did not contract the virus after her daughter tested positive. Botulinum toxin works by stopping the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and paralyzing muscles.
Dr. Dominique Batifol, lead author of the study, and other contributors to the paper suggested that this could stop COVID-19 infections. However, other experts called the study 'extremely poor' and felt it did not prove whether Botox showed promise in fighting COVID-19.
The team admitted that more research was needed to determine how Botox could stop COVID infection. They also admitted that the regions from which the participants came 'were not among the most affected areas of France, quite the opposite.'