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How do you store your Botox? You may be doing it wrong.

Botox and other botulinum toxins, or indeed all medicines, have storage conditions specified on their packaging. This is to ensure that when you use the product, it is potent and safe, and that it has the effect you expect. The problem is that things don’t always happen as planned. Maybe you mixed a solution, and the patient didn’t show up for the consultation. Maybe you over-stocked because of a volume discount. Maybe one of your nurses was too busy and left a box on the desk or the refrigerator went out over the weekend. Perhaps your postal service left a box on the doorstep during a heat wave. In these situations, you may find yourself discarding hundreds of dollars’ worth of botulinum toxin – what a waste!

The good news is that research suggests that the manufacturer’s storage recommendations may be too conservative. Some studies have looked at the effectiveness of different brands of botulinum toxins and found that they are viable well beyond the manufacturers’ recommended shelf life. Knowing this can save your clinic money, reduce product waste, and allow you to take advantage of volume offers and discounts when purchasing your medical supplies.

Stocking Botox

Botox is the most popular cosmetic injectable in the United States and around the world. Clients ask for it by name, but this popular drug does not come cheap. Especially for smaller, low-volume clinics, even one wasted vial of Botox can be a blow to profits. According to Allergan, its manufacturer, you should always store Botox in the refrigerator, at 2°C to 8°C, or in the freezer, at minus 5°C. With a shelf life of 36 months from the date of manufacture, this seems simple enough. However, when a mistake occurs, one may wonder if there is a way to prevent these expensive vials from going to waste.

Fortunately, studies have shown what happens to Botox when it is exposed to storage conditions outside the normal range. Allergan itself has confirmed that Botox can be used after five days at room temperature, something that is not mentioned on the product packaging. Not only that, but the product can also remain stable even in extreme shipping conditions. When the study authors, L. Parraga et al. consulted the available product information and spoke directly with the manufacturers, they found that the botulinum toxin remains stable for 14 days at 25°C and 7 days at 30°C. If your bottle sits on the reception desk overnight, or your fridge stops working over a long weekend, there is no need to dispose of your Botox. By the looks of it, the product will be fine.

Not only does unopened Botox remain stable longer than expected, and at more extreme temperatures, but studies suggest that reconstituted botulinum toxin remains fit for use much longer than you might think. According to Allergan’s information leaflet, after adding saline to create a solution, it should ideally be used immediately. If that fails, they say you can store Botox for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. This is fine in the event that your patient shows up for the appointment as expected, but what if they don’t come, there are scheduling issues or other mishaps? Although you may have been proactive in reactivating the botulinum toxin in advance, the result may be that it is simply wasted. This is not good, especially for lower volume clinics.

Fortunately, studies suggest that you can still use your reconstituted Botox days or even weeks later, with the same initial effectiveness and duration. Researchers compared the effectiveness of new Botox with solutions that were two hours, six days and one at five weeks. For their comparison, the researchers made sure that each volunteer received one injection of the new solution and one injection of a solution with a longer preparation time into the short extensor muscle of the other foot. Not only was the two-hour old solution equally effective, but even the four-week old solution still gave statistically similar results. Regardless of time, all results were equally effective in relaxing the treated muscle, and the effects lasted the same. Other researchers found similar results with Botox solutions with longer preparation time in glabellar lines. When they compared the freshly prepared solution with the solution that was up to 43 days old, they found that all solutions had similar effectiveness and lasted the same length of time. When thinking about disposing of Botox solution prepared 24 hours earlier, don’t worry and keep it for four to six weeks. This could reduce your clinic’s losses, and help you stretch your Botox budget much further.

NuDerma Supply has a wide selection of all your favourite medical injectable brands with wholesale volume discounts. To order Allergan’s Juvéderm Volift and other medical injectables, visit NuDermaSupply.com today.

*Disclaimer: The content of this article should not be construed as medical advice, but for informational purposes only. NuDermaSupply staff does not review any of these articles for medical validity. The opinions expressed in this article are not endorsed by NuDermaSupply. Please always consult your physician for professional medical advice.

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