People who received Botox injections for various conditions reported depression less often compared to patients who did not receive the injections for similar diagnoses, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
This observed anti-depressive effect of Botox injections in the forehead has been reported previously, as well. Interestingly, this study has found that it may not matter where the Botox is injected.
The research team at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego combed through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Adverse Effect Reporting System (FAERS) database to see the side effects reported by nearly 40,000 people who received Botox injections for various reasons, according to a news release by the university.
The treatments were not just in the forehead but included several different sites, including the neck, limbs, and forehead. The release stated the researchers used an algorithm to find significant statistical differences between patients who used Botox and those who did not for the same issue.
The researchers found depression was reported 40 to 88 percent less often by Botox users for six of the eight conditions and injection sites, according to the release.
“This finding is exciting because it supports a new treatment to affect mood and fight depression, one of the common and dangerous mental illnesses — and it’s based on a very large body of statistical data, rather than limited-scale observations,” Tigran Makunts, PharmD, one of the researchers in the study, stated in the release.
The authors note they excluded data from patients who were taking antidepressants; however, in some of the cases, the use of medications could have been underreported. More research is needed to determine how Botox potentially acts as an antidepressant, according to the study.