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Botox: The Miracle Drug

Botox won its fourth U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval yesterday, for the treatment of excessive sweating. Injections of the drug into the armpit seem to essentially paralyze the sweat glands; taking shots once or twice a year (at $1,000…

Botox won its fourth U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval yesterday, for the treatment of excessive sweating. Injections of the drug into the armpit seem to essentially paralyze the sweat glands; taking shots once or twice a year (at $1,000 to $2,000 a pop) seems to help patients with severe underarm sweating.

Specialty pharmaceutical maker Allergan has been riding the wave of what may turn out to be the first biotech “miracle drug,” with more applications than initially imagined. The protein therapeutic, a low concentration injection of the toxin that causes botulism food poisoning, has already been approved for the treatment of wrinkles and certain muscle spasms in the neck and eye. It is also being studied for the relief of migraines, muscle spasticity in cerebral palsy, muscle tightness in stroke patients, and involuntary movements such as those associated with Parkinson disease.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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