If you’ve been on regular neuromodulator treatments (like Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin) and have found that they seem a little less effective, don’t last quite as long, or require more frequent touch-ups, there may be a surprising reason. A new study has found that neuromodulator injections may be less effective in people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. But before we move on, we can’t stress this enough: This is no reason not to get vaccinated or boosted. 1. This study was small. 2. Most people will probably still find an effective neuromodulator. And most importantly 3. Forehead wrinkles are always better than serious illness or death. Now we’re going to go ahead and share everything we know so far about this phenomenon.
The aim of the study was to determine if the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (that’s a mouthful, but translates to the Pfizer vaccine, which – like the Moderna vaccine – uses mRNA technology) has a potential impact on the botulinum toxin type A has (BTA) injections. The study doesn’t identify a brand for botulinum type A injections, so it could be one of the four brands that use BTA: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau. (Daxxify also uses BTA but is just beginning to roll out nationwide and shouldn’t have been included here.)
This was a small study with only 45 participants and a mean age of 48.3 years. The group was 89% female. The results found that the average time between Botox injections after a COVID shot was shorter than before — 96 days versus 118 (that’s about three and a half versus four months) — leading researchers to believe that Botox “less could be effective after COVID-19 vaccination.”
“The last line here is mandatory because it contains the word ‘might,'” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Hamden, Connecticut and associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. “The study raises an interesting possibility, but is inconclusive and requires additional research.”
Shari Marchbein, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and an assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine, also points out that the study shouldn’t be taken as a definitive answer given its small size. “The most important thing is that it’s a very small study and we need to do larger studies, multi-centre studies, cross-country studies,” she explains. “The fact that there were only 45 people… that’s extremely small. I treat more patients than that in a week.”