UC San Diego Study Suggests Botox May Reduce Anxiety

By Zuri Anderson

December 29, 2021

Person injecting young woman's forehead with small syringe, close up, side view, studio shot
Photo: The Image Bank RF

If you regularly get Botox, San Diego researchers have some good news.

A new study published on December 21 in Scientific Reports suggests that getting Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections may reduce anxiety. Scientists with the University of California in San Diego looked at the U.S. Good and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Adverse Effect Reporting System (FAERS) database for their research.

"People receiving Botox injections at four different sites — not just in the forehead — reported anxiety significantly less often than patients undergoing different treatments for the same conditions," Corey Levitan writes. Nearly 40,000 people reported to the FDA about their side effects following "Botox treatment for a variety of reasons."

Dr. Ruben Abagyan, one of the researchers and a professor of pharmacy, says the team wanted to find the beneficial side effects of treatments rather than the harmful ones.

"A large number of diverse adverse effects are being reported to the FDA and the main objective usually is to find those harmful side effects that had not been identified during clinical trials," he says. "However, our idea was different. Why don’t we do the opposite? Why don’t we find beneficial effects?"

Abagyan and his team found that Botox-treated patients reported a significantly reduced risk for anxiety: 22 to 72%. Researchers did note that this applied to patients with specific conditions and different injection sites.

While Botox is more known for easing wrinkles or giving people a more youthful appearance, it can also be used for migraines, muscle spasms, and other medical conditions. Levitan also mentioned that anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychiatric disorder, and researchers are constantly looking for more treatment and therapeutic options.

Click here to read more about the study.

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