How should I prepare for botulin toxin injections?

Make sure your healthcare provider has a current list of the medications and supplements you take. Certain medications increase the risk of bruising at the injection site. These include anticoagulants or blood thinners (Warfarin®) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Alcohol also makes you more prone to redness and bruising. Don’t drink for 24 hours before a procedure.

How are botulinum toxin injections performed?

Your healthcare provider uses a fine needle to inject small amounts of botulinum toxins into the treatment area. Depending on the problem, you may receive several injections in different spots. Here’s what else you need to know about the procedure:

  • Outpatient procedure: Treatment takes place as an outpatient procedure. You go home the same day.
  • Discomfort: The injections may sting and feel uncomfortable, but the procedure is over quickly. Some providers apply a topical numbing agent to the skin before giving injections.
  • Anesthesia: If you’re receiving injections for an overactive bladder, you may receive local or regional anesthesia.

What should I do after getting botulinum toxin injections?

Unless your healthcare provider says otherwise, you can return to work or most activities after treatment. To reduce redness, swelling or bruising:

  • Don’t rub or put pressure on the area for 12 hours.
  • Stay upright (don’t lie down) for three to four hours.
  • Avoid physical exertion for 24 hours.

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