Botox has long dominated the neuromodulators market, to the point where Botox is frequently used (often incorrectly) as a blanket term for injectables. But it’s about to get some serious competition. On September 8, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Daxxify, a new aesthetic injectable that temporarily treats frown lines. What makes this a game-changer for the aesthetics world is that Daxxify lasts longer than its competitors, including Botox, Jeuveau, Dysport, and Xeomin.
“We all lead busier lives than ever. The convenience to possibly cut yearly Botox visits in half is significant,” says Dr. Kenneth Mark, a cosmetic dermatology expert with practices in New York City, the Hamptons, and Aspen. "Simply put, Daxxify is now officially the longest-acting FDA-approved neuromodulator or neurotoxin, which means its duration of effect is longer. Also, for those few patients who don’t respond to Botox, i.e. seem resistant to it, Daxxify may be an option that would work.”
Read on for everything you need to know about Daxxify.
What Is Daxxify?
Daxxify is made of botulinum toxin A, just like Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau, and Xeomin. “Unlike the others, it does not contain human serum albumin, so it is the only product which is vegan,” explains double board-certified plastic surgeon Melissa Doft, MD. “Also, unlike the other toxins, it uses a peptide to stabilize the toxin, which allows it to last for up to six months.”
Plus, the injectable has a proprietary element that sets it apart. “Daxxify has a unique peptide attached to it, which they have trademarked ‘peptide exchange technology or PXT,’” he says. “The RTP004 peptide is a 35 amino acid peptide excipient that prevents surface absorption and promotes thermal stability.” In other words, that’s what helps the results from Daxxify last longer.
How Long Does Daxxify Last?
Daxxify lasts up to six months and sometimes even longer. Typically, Botox is done three to four times per year, but Daxxify will only be needed twice a year, which is what makes the neurotoxin so groundbreaking.
“It is the first neurotoxin to challenge the longevity of treatment,” Dr. Doft says. “Neurotoxins have become ubiquitous in our world. Daxxify would allow patients to be treated only twice a year—less needle pricks, less doctor visits, less potential times to be bruised.”
How Is Daxxify Different From Botox?
“Daxxify is a smaller toxin as it does not have the associated proteins which are formulated with Botox,” Dr. Doft says. “It is essentially another ‘naked’ toxin like Xeomin. It is stabilized by peptide technology which allows it to last for a longer period of time.”
Another key difference between Daxxify and Botox is the fact that Daxxify can be shipped and stored at room temperature, which could be game-changing for injectors. “This is a significant convenience factor to not have to worry about shipping it cold or opening it immediately upon arrival of product, not worrying about power outages and ruining of product,” Dr. Mark says.
How Is Daxxify Used?
Since it’s an injectable, Daxxify is applied the same way as Botox. “It comes as a powder in a vial, needs to be reconstituted with saline and injected into the muscles of concern,” Dr. Mark says.
Daxxify’s longer-lasting results mean that selecting the right injector is even more crucial. “The results of Daxxify will last for six months, so it is important to seek a professional who is board-certified in plastic surgery or dermatology and who has a large injectable practice,” Dr. Doft says. “For patients who are trying a neurotoxin for the first time, they may wish to opt for a shorter activating toxin to confirm that they like the results.”
What Is the Cost of Daxxify?
We don’t know yet, but the assumption is that it will be at least as expensive as Botox, which starts at around $200, depending on your provider. “The price has not been released but is anticipated to be more than Botox given the longevity of action,” Dr. Doft says.
Can Daxxify Be Used for Treating Other Things Besides Wrinkles?
Since the mechanism of action is the same—i.e. blocking the release of the neurotransmitter—it will also work for other conditions that Botox treats, such as hyperhidrosis (increased sweating), overactive bladder, and chronic migraines. “There was a study published which showed that Daxxify works well for patients with cervical dystonia or muscle spasms,” Dr. Doft says.
When Will Daxxify Be Available?
“Given the recent FDA approval, the company has not even trained their sales force,” Dr. Mark says. “Therefore, it is expected to be fully launched in March of 2023 and possibly available prior to year’s end.”
Once Daxxify hits the market, it will be interesting to see how it changes the injectables world. “All of the prior neurotoxin competitors to Botox had serious flaws, such as they did not last as long or spread significantly beyond the injection site, yet some doctors and patients opted to try and/or use them as they were typically cheaper,” Dr. Mark says.
“In this case, Daxxify may not have to be cheaper to gain market share. It will be interesting to see if patients are willing to try a new product for predicted longer results and potentially higher cost. On the other hand, some patients who are thrilled with Botox may say, ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!’”