• Publish Date: June 26th, 2023
  • Injectables

Botox has been a popular treatment for decades because of its effectiveness in smoothing out wrinkles and facial lines. The drug’s efficacy and safety have made it the go-to choice for people who desire a more youthful appearance.

However, you may have recently heard of a new drug touted to be a great alternative — Daxxify.

Approved by the Food and Drugs Administration on September 8, 2022, Daxxify is a newcomer to the aesthetics market. It received the green light from the FDA after displaying consistent effectiveness in clinical trials. In particular, the new drug proved itself effective in reducing moderate to severe frown lines in women — something Botox also does.

Now, you may be wondering: If Daxxify does exactly what Botox has been doing for more than two decades, what’s the big deal? What makes Daxxify different from its long-time predecessor?

In this article, we will demystify the difference between Botox and Daxxify. Stick around to learn more about how Botox and Daxxify differ and compare.

Both Contain Botulinum Toxin

Experts will tell you that Botox and Daxxify are two different drugs — and they are, in more ways than one. However, you may be surprised to know that these drugs have one thing in common. Both drugs consist of botulinum toxin.

Botulinum toxin is a chemical found in the microorganism Clostridium botulinum. This microorganism causes a condition called botulism, characterized by drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness. People can contract this condition in several ways, but one of the most common ways to get botulism is by ingesting poorly canned or fermented food.

Reading this, you are likely asking yourself what a food-borne pathogen has to do with smoothing out wrinkles and taking years off your face. The answer lies in the action of botulinum toxin.

Botulism’s symptoms are the result of the toxin secreted by the microorganism. The symptoms happen because botulinum toxin affects nerves. The toxin paralyzes the nerves, preventing any activity in surrounding muscle tissues. This is why patients with botulism have difficulty swallowing or digesting food.

Injected into a muscle (like the muscles in your face), botulinum toxin will reduce the ability of the muscles to tense up. As a result, the muscle atrophies to the point where it loses its tone. While this might sound bad, it is the loss of muscle tone that eliminates the wrinkles and laugh lines on a person’s face.

In short, botulinum toxin decreases the muscle tension and tone of the facial muscles. By doing so, botulinum toxin reduces wrinkles. This is why you find botulinum toxin in both Botox and Daxxify.

Both Drugs Are Generally Safe for Cosmetic Use

Botox and Daxxify are safe cosmetic treatments for patients looking to take years off their appearances. After a patient receives either one of these drugs, the chances of side effects or complications are minimal.

The side effects of both drugs are the result of the botulinum toxin content in them. These side effects include the following:

  • Droopy eyelids

  • Pain at the injection site

  • A crooked smile

  • Temporary loss of sensation at the injection site

  • Headaches

According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, complications and adverse effects occur in less than 2% of all patients. Also, most of the side effects that occur after Botox or Daxxify injection are temporary and subside in a matter of days.

Chemical Formulation: Albumin vs Peptides

Now that we’ve established what Daxxify and Botox have in common, we can touch on the first area of difference — composition.

Botox and Daxxify both contain botulinum toxin. However, where they differ is in the formulation.

In the case of Botox, the formulation consists of botulinum toxin and albumin proteins from humans. The human albumin proteins are essential to attenuate or weaken the effects of the botulinum toxin.

Daxxify’s formulation is different. While it consists of the same type of botulinum toxin as Botox, it contains no albumin. Instead, Daxxify’s formulation includes peptides or small proteins.

The peptides are supercharged and bind with the botulinum toxin. The peptides in Daxxify also stick to the nerve cells at the injection site, resulting in slower toxin metabolism and longer-lasting effects.

Duration of Effectiveness

The chemical formulations of Botox and Daxxify affect how long both drugs remain effective. Let’s start with Botox.

As mentioned earlier, Botox has a formulation consisting of botulinum toxin and human albumin. The human albumin content decreases the toxicity of botulinum toxin just enough to reduce health risks but retain the toxin’s paralyzing capabilities.

The albumin content is both a boon and bane. On the one hand, it reduces the chances of patients developing any severe symptoms of botulism. On the other hand, the weakening of botulinum toxin limits the amount of time Botox remains effective. This is why for many patients, the effects of Botox last anywhere from two to four months.

This may not necessarily be bad for many patients. However, this can mean showing up for multiple treatments over a year.

By comparison, Daxxify’s effects last longer. This is due to the drug’s peptide exchange formulation. The peptides bind with the botulinum toxin to slow down its metabolism.

Because the metabolism of botulism is slower, the toxin remains intact in the facial muscles for a much longer period. As a result, patients who receive Daxxify experience the Botox-like effects of the drug for several months. According to a 2021 overview of the new botulinum toxin-based product, the effects of Daxxify lasted for as long as six months in many patients.

Onset of Action

Both cosmetic drugs show visible results in a matter of days. However, with Daxxify, patients may notice the drug’s effects sooner than Botox.

Patients who receive Botox will notice effects between 72 hours to five days. This means that if you receive a Botox injection, you can expect the smoothening of your wrinkles in about three to five days. The full effect of the drug will be noticeable after about two weeks.

On the other hand, Daxxify’s onset of action is faster. After injection, the drug takes effect within 24 to 48 hours.

Use Cases

Botox and Daxxify are cosmetic drugs used in the treatment of wrinkles. With that said, we need to be clear on what types of wrinkles or lines these drugs have been approved to treat.

Botox has been in the market for decades and has been the go-to cosmetic drug for treating various lines. The drug has received FDA approval for treating several types of lines over the years.

In 2002, the FDA approved the use of Botox for frown lines. The FDA also approved Botox for cosmetic eyebrow repositioning.

Years later, Botox got another green light from the FDA when it was approved for treating periorbital wrinkles. In 2017, the FDA issued another approval for Botox for the treatment and management of forehead lines.

Daxxify is a new cosmetic drug that has just received FDA approval. It got FDA approval on September 8, 2022, and was approved solely for the treatment of glabellar or frown lines.

As Daxxify becomes more widely used by patients, we can expect more clinical trials to take place.

The Question: “Is One Better Than The Other?”

The Daxxify vs Botox debate really boils down to one question:

“Is Daxxify a better drug than Botox, or vice-versa?”

The answer is both “no” and “it depends.”

The answer is “no” insofar as these drugs are both effective for minimizing and eliminating frown lines. With that said, either drug may suit certain kinds of patients, hence being the “better choice.”

If you are receiving cosmetic injections for the first time to treat facial lines, Botox may be a safe choice. Botox has been around for decades and has received several FDA approvals for its effectiveness and safety. This means that you’re unlikely to suffer from any severe complications.

Also, the effects of Botox last for just three to four months. Hence, if you’re unsatisfied with the effects of your injections, you can simply discontinue them after four months.

On the other hand, if you have received Botox in the past and would like less frequent injections, you may give Daxxify a try.

Like Botox, Daxxify is also a safe cosmetic drug for frown lines. However, because of its peptide formulation, its effects last longer, meaning you won’t have to see your plastic surgeon as often.

In short, the better drug depends on what you want and your history with Botox injections. Whichever one you choose, you can bet on one thing:

You’ll come out of your injection session with years taken off your appearance.