Botulinum Toxin Type A

New Information About an Old Medicine

Kevin C. Smith, MD, FRCPC (Dermatology)


Skin Therapy Letter. 2011;16(8) 

In This Article


Medications formulated with BoNT-A as their active ingredient have a long record of safety and efficacy for a very wide and growing spectrum of medical and aesthetic indications. Future medications based on derivatives of BoNT-A are likely to further expand the range of utility and improve the risk/benefit ratio of this class of agents.

It is important for those interested in BoNT-A to become familiar with the non-proprietary names for the various formulations of BoNT-A, because non-proprietary nomenclature is being used exclusively in a growing number of academic and educational settings. Additionally, the use of non-proprietary names have been mandated by the US FDA to differentiate between the various formulations of BoNT-A.

It is important for those interested in BoNT-A to realize that each formulation of BoNT-A has unique pharmacologic and pharmacokinetic properties, and may behave differently in various clinical situations and indications, e.g., depending on the dosage, degree of dilution when the product is reconstituted, and the anatomic area being treated. For these reasons, there are no simple "universal" conversion ratios between the various formulations of BoNT-A.