It’s easy to get confused about the difference between neuromodulators and neurotransmitters. The brain produces these two chemicals, but they work very differently—each has a unique effect on your mood, physical health, and well-being.
In this article, we’ll explain what makes these two types of chemicals different from one another so you can understand how they impact your overall health and wellness.
Neuromodulators and neurotransmitters are both chemicals produced in the brain.
Neuromodulators and neurotransmitters are both chemicals produced in the brain. They have different functions, but they can be grouped because they’re both types of chemical messengers that regulate our nervous system and affect our moods, emotions, and behavior.
Neurotransmitters transmit signals across a synapse (the space between nerve cells). They travel from one neuron to another through axons (long projections) until they reach their target cell, known as synaptic transmission. Neurotransmitters can be divided into two types: excitatory and inhibitory. Excitatory neurotransmitters activate receptors on nearby neurons, while inhibitory ones block them from firing off their chemical messages until further notice!
Neuromodulators are primarily used to help relax muscles, while neurotransmitters are used to send signals between neurons.
Neuromodulators are a type of neurotransmitter, which means they’re chemicals that help send signals between neurons.
Neurotransmitters are also used to relax muscles, but unlike neuromodulators, they do not cross the blood-brain barrier. It means they can’t act as hormones in your body and only affect how your brain works — not other bodily functions like digestion or blood pressure.
Both neuromodulators and neurotransmitters affect your mood.
Neuromodulators and neurotransmitters are both chemicals produced in the brain. However, neuromodulators are mainly used to help relax muscles, while neurotransmitters send signals between neurons.
The most significant distinction between the two is how they affect your mood. While neurotransmitters can positively or negatively affect your mental health depending on concentration levels, neuromodulators do not affect mood; they influence physical processes like sleeping patterns or pain sensitivity.
What are examples of common neuromodulators?
There are two FDA-approved neuromodulators: Dysport and Xeomin.
Dysport is a type of neuromodulator used for medical and cosmetic purposes. It is made from a variety of botulinum toxin called abobotulinumtoxinA. Dysport works by relaxing muscles and preventing them from contracting, which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is similar to another popular neuromodulator, Botox.
Dysport is commonly used for cosmetic purposes to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, particularly on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes. However, it also has medical uses, including treating muscle spasms and certain types of neck pain.
The mechanism by which Dysport functions is to prevent the release of acetylcholine, a substance necessary for muscular contractions. When Dysport is injected into the muscle, it prevents the muscle from contracting, which in turn reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines—the effects of Dysport typically last around three to four months.
Xeomin is another type of neuromodulator made from various botulinum toxins called incobotulinumtoxinA. Xeomin is intended to temporarily lessen the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face, like Dysport and Botox. However, it has a slightly different formulation than Dysport and may be preferred by some patients.
Xeomin is used for both cosmetic and medical purposes. In addition to reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, it is also used to treat muscle spasms, dystonia, and other neurological disorders that cause muscle stiffness or involuntary movements.
Similar to Dysport, Xeomin works by blocking the release of acetylcholine, which prevents the muscle from contracting and thus reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, Xeomin has a unique formulation that removes specific proteins from the botulinum toxin, which can reduce the risk of an allergic reaction or resistance to the medication over time. The effects of Xeomin typically last around three to four months.
The efficacy and duration of effects of Dysport and Xeomin may also vary. While both medications are generally effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, some patients may prefer the results of one drug over the other. The duration of effects may also differ, with some patients experiencing longer-lasting effects with one medication.
Are there any side effects of using neuromodulators?
Dysport and Xeomin have potential side effects, although generally mild and temporary. The most common side effects include temporary redness, swelling at the injection site, and mild headaches. In rare cases, both medications can cause more severe side effects, such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, muscle weakness, or an allergic reaction.
Dysport and Xeomin’s safety profile is generally considered safe, with the FDA approving both medications for use in the United States. However, discussing potential risks or concerns with a healthcare professional before receiving either medication is essential. Some patients may have a higher risk of experiencing side effects or may not be suitable candidates for the drug due to certain medical conditions.
Do the effects of neuromodulators last?
The duration of Dysport and Xeomin results can vary depending on the individual, the dose used, and the area of the body being treated. However, in general, the effects of both medications typically last for around three to four months.
After receiving a Dysport or Xeomin injection, the medication takes effect within a few days to a week, and the full results are typically visible within two weeks. The muscle-relaxing effects gradually wear off over time, and patients may notice that the wrinkles and fine lines begin to reappear.
To maintain the results, patients typically need additional injections every few months. However, the duration of the effects can vary from person to person, and some patients may experience longer or shorter-lasting results. It is essential to discuss any questions or concerns about the duration of the results with a healthcare professional before receiving either medication.
Neuromodulators and neurotransmitters have essential roles in your body’s function but perform very differently.
Neurotransmitters send signals between neurons, while neuromodulators help relax muscles or affect your mood. Dysport and Xeomin are safe and effective neuromodulators commonly used for cosmetic and medical purposes. Both medications work by blocking the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contractions, and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
While there are some differences between Dysport and Xeomin in terms of their formulation, dosage, administration, efficacy, and duration of effects, they are both generally well-tolerated and have a good safety profile. It is essential to discuss any potential risks or concerns with a healthcare professional before receiving either medication.
Contact us at LUXE Med Spa Aesthetics to learn more about neuromodulators!