A new pill is promising to make the wrinkle-smoothing effects of Botox injections last for 30 per cent longer.
The Zytaze tablets are also said to help the cosmetic injections – which cost up to £400 – take effect faster.
More than one million people in the UK use the cosmetic jabs to combat wrinkles, but the downside is that the benefits last for just three months.
Botox has become big business since its launch but one problem is the effects only last around three months, meaning regular trips to the clinic to maintain the wrinkle-free look
The new pill appears to be little more than a vitamin supplement which contains a high dose of zinc combined with an enzyme called phytase which helps the body absorb zinc.
It is being marketed to Botox fans at £45 for a pack of ten – significantly more than the price of a standard zinc supplement from high street stores, which costs about £8 for a pack of 100 tablets.
However, US manufacturer Eden Aesthetics say the pill is unique and can reduce the price of Botox for regular users. Eden also claims just taking a cheaper zinc supplement bought from the high street will not have the same effect.
A clinical trial of the pill, published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, found that 92 per cent of patients taking Zytaze reported Botox treatments lasted for several weeks longer than normal, and also helped the jab to take effect more quickly.
Cosmetic surgery experts in the UK said the results were interesting but further research should be done.
Botox, a tiny quantity of the toxin botulinum, is injected into human tissue – mainly in the face – and works by blocking nerve endings, which prevents electrical signals from moving through muscles.
Zytaze capsules will be launched in UK to help extend the effects of Botox by up to 30 per cent
This has a ‘freezing’ effect that smooths out wrinkles and fine lines.
Zytaze patients are told to take two 25mg pills a day for four days prior to having Botox and on the day they receive the jab.
Consultant plastic surgeon Kevin Hancock, a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Council, said: ‘We do know that zinc is crucial in helping injured patients to recover, for example burns victims, so it’s fundamental in repairing tissue.
'That may well be influencing the action of the Botox. But the pill is just a vitamin supplement and it may be that lots of people are just slightly zinc-deficient anyway.’
Zytaze does not have to be approved by the drugs watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, because it is classed as a dietary supplement. Patients do not need a prescription.
There are warnings about taking too much zinc and more than 50mg a day can affect how well your immune system works. Zytaze involves taking 50mg a day for four days, but this is not thought to be prolonged enough to have a detrimental effect.
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