Purpose: To determine whether oral zinc supplementation might affect the efficacy and duration of botulinum toxin treatments.
Methods: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot study, we examined the efficacy of three botulinum toxin preparations (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, and rimabotulinumtoxinB) following oral supplementation with zinc citrate 50 mg and phytase 3,000 PU, zinc gluconate 10 mg, or lactulose placebo in individuals treated for cosmetic facial rhytids, benign essential blepharospasm, and hemifacial spasm.
Results: In seventy-seven patients, 92% of subjects supplemented with zinc 50 mg and phytase experienced an average increase in toxin effect duration of nearly 30%, and 84% of participants reported a subjective increase in toxin effect, whereas no significant increase in duration or effect was reported by patients following supplementation with lactulose placebo or 10 mg of zinc gluconate. The dramatic impact of the zinc/phytase supplementation on some patients' lives clinically unmasked the study and prompted an early termination.
Conclusions: This study suggests a potentially meaningful role for zinc and/or phytase supplementation in increasing the degree and duration of botulinum toxin effect in the treatment of cosmetic facial rhytids, benign essential blepharospasm, and hemifacial spasm.