"No other product has applications over such a wide range of medical conditions. It's like the penicillin of the 21st century," said Caroline Van Hove, Allergan's director of communications. "The demand for Botox has fueled funding for other medical uses. That is the beauty of this product."
Botox has its limitations. Some doctors feel that many conditions are complex and that Botox only solves part of the problem. It treats the symptoms but doesn't necessarily reverse them permanently. Botox for wrinkles must be re-injected every few months.
Also, according to Chancellor, the high cost and demand for cosmetic Botox has made it unsafe in some cases. In 2005, black-market Botox led to paralysis in some cosmetic patients.
But, as dermatologist Dr. Rhoda Narins notes, "at recommended doses, Botox is not in the realm of being dangerous."
Narins would know -- like Chancellor and Carruthers, she too helped find a new use for Botox: migraine headaches.