Dysport Versus Botox The Neurotoxin Difference

Dysport versus Botox is there truly a difference, and should you care?

Whether you call them by their popular names like “crow’s feet” or “elevens”, wrinkles are a billion-dollar industry. The aesthetic medicine field has grown exponentially in the past decade due to advances in the technologies of digital imaging, molecular biology, and engineering. So, which neurotoxin is best?

One of the first players in the non-surgical space was Botox, an isolated protein that is a neurotoxin from the bacteria we know to cause a life-threatening condition called botulism.  

There are many different applications for the use of neurotoxins nowadays from facial muscles, migraine headaches, torticollis, esophageal spasm, and urinary bladder dystonia.

Botulinum Toxin A has been used since 1977 for relaxing muscles.  In America, Botox was the only brand of toxin around for many years until 10 years ago when Dysport came into the US market.

Even later, a lesser known brand called Xeomin has also been widely used however it pales in comparison to the top two. There are even a couple other brands that have yet to be released for use in the US; experts are predicting 1-2 years out on those.

In an Oct 2018 study (click here to read full text), a side by side test of these 3 brands of neurotoxins was performed.  Many injectors have a personal preference; however, these results are going to change the way others will practice.  

Prices are the same for a treatment, dependent on the skill of the practitioner. Doctors and nurse injectors typically charge a little bit less than a plastic surgeon who can command a higher price.  People swear by one vs the other, but when we look at the science, the brand loyalty of some will likely sway.

Is there a difference between Dysport versus Botox “units”?

The standard FDA approved dosages for treating the glabella (between the eyebrows) are as follows: 50 units for Dysport and 20 units for both Botox and Xeomin.  

The way most people understand the difference in units is as simple as standard vs metric units of measurement.  For example, using the conversion 1-inch equals 2.5 centimeters, 1 unit of Botox equals 2.5 units of Dysport. It’s just that easy!

What were the results of the study?

Here is where it gets interesting. What really made the study stand out is once all of the 150 kDa samples were equally set, using ELISA testing, there was a very significant difference.  Dysport contains 0.27ng of actual toxin, while Botox only has 0.18ng and Xeomin losing by a landslide at 0.8ng.


Aesthetic medicine is progressing forward like most things with technology. And as science gets better and provides us with better insight, our old ways of thinking must adapt to the new emergent truths.

The result of this study is ultimately going to increase the use of Dysport even more and for good reason…it is better and stronger per unit. If you have had Botox or Xeomin that didn’t work or faded quickly, this is a probable explanation.  Dysport works faster, better, and lasts longer!