Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat the following neuromuscular disorders:
- cervical dystonia in adults
- severe axillary hyperhidrosis in some adults
- blepharospasm related to dystonia in adults and children ages 12 years and older
- spasticity in adults and children ages 2 years and older
- strabismus in adults and children ages 12 years and older
- overactive bladder in certain adults
- urinary incontinence related to specific nervous system conditions in adults and children ages 5 years and older
Botox is also used to help prevent headaches in adults with chronic migraine. For more information about Botox’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about Botox, which is a biologic:
- How it’s given: solution that’s injected into your body by your doctor or another healthcare professional
- Biosimilar version: none available
Read on to learn about Botox and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
As with all medications, the cost of Botox can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your treatment plan
- the condition Botox is being used to treat
- your insurance coverage
- the cost of the visit to your doctor to receive doses of Botox
- whether Botox has a savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Botox will be for you, talk with your doctor or insurance provider.
Below is information you may want to consider if you have insurance and receive Botox.
Prior authorization. If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Botox. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Botox in regard to your treatment. The insurance company will then determine whether the medication is covered. If a drug requires prior authorization and you start treatment without the prior approval, you could pay the full cost of the medication. You can ask your insurance company whether Botox requires prior authorization.
Type of insurance coverage. Botox is given by your doctor or another healthcare professional. If you have insurance, the price of your Botox doses may be billed through your primary health insurance instead of the prescription drug portion of your insurance. This depends on your insurance coverage and where you receive your Botox doses, such as at your doctor’s office, clinic, or a hospital. If you have questions about this process, contact your doctor or your insurance provider.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Botox.
On average, how much does Botox cost per unit or per injection?
The cost of Botox per unit or per injection varies based on certain factors. They include:
- whether you have insurance coverage or are paying out of pocket
- the condition Botox is being used to help prevent or treat
- your treatment plan and how often you receive Botox injections
- whether you’re eligible for any Botox cost savings from the drug manufacturer
- the cost to receive your injection at a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital
If you’d like to learn more about how much Botox may cost to treat your condition, talk with your doctor. They can give you more exact cost information. If you have insurance, contact your provider to find out your cost per unit of Botox.
You can also learn about how to save on the cost of Botox in the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below.
Does the cost of Botox vary depending on whether it’s used for migraine or TMJ?
Yes, the cost of Botox may vary based on what condition you’re receiving it to treat.
Botox is approved to help prevent headaches in people with chronic migraine. The cost for this use depends on your treatment plan and whether you have insurance coverage. It also depends on how much it costs to receive the injection from your doctor.
Botox may also be used off-label to treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Off-label use is when a drug is prescribed for a purpose other than what it’s approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If you have insurance and your doctor prescribes Botox off-label, your insurance plan may not cover the drug. So you may need to pay out-of-pocket to receive Botox injections. Your cost may also depend on whether you receive injections at a doctor’s office or clinic and how often you receive them. These factors may also affect your cost of Botox if you don’t have insurance.
If you have questions about the cost of Botox for chronic migraine versus for TMJ, ask your doctor. Your insurance provider can also tell you how much Botox would cost for migraine headache prevention. They can also discuss whether the cost of Botox would be covered for treating TMJ.
How does the cost of Botox compare with that of Dysport and Xeomin?
The cost of Botox compared with the cost of Dysport and Xeomin depends on certain factors. These include the condition you’re receiving the drugs to treat and their dosages. (For details about Botox’s dosages, see this article.)
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are all made with different types of botulinum toxin type A, their active ingredient. The drugs are also approved to treat similar neuromuscular disorders, such as cervical dystonia and spasticity.
Specifically, the drugs may have similar costs when they’re used for dystonia treatment. This is because Botox and Xeomin are similar in price, and they’re both typically given every 3 months for dystonia. Dysport is administered less often (every 4 months). However, since its dose is higher compared with that of Botox and Xeomin, its cost may be similar to the cost of Botox and Xeomin.
If you’re considering Botox and comparing prices with Xeomin and Dysport, talk with your doctor or insurance provider. They can help compare the costs of these drugs.
Botox contains the active ingredient onabotulinumtoxinA. It’s available only as a brand-name biologic drug. It doesn’t come in a biosimilar version. A biosimilar medication is a drug that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug (the parent drug). Also, biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name medications.
WHY ARE COSTS DIFFERENT FOR BIOLOGIC DRUGS VS. BIOSIMILAR DRUGS?
Biologic drugs can be expensive because of the research needed to test their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a biologic drug can sell it for up to
12 years. When the biologic drug’s patent expires, multiple manufacturers can create biosimilar versions. This marketplace competition may lead to lower costs for biosimilars. Also, because biosimilars are very similar to biologic drugs, they don’t require the same costly testing.
If you need financial support to pay for Botox, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A program called the Botox Savings Program is available for Botox. For more information and to find out whether you’re eligible for support, call 800-44-BOTOX (800-442-6869) or visit the program website.
- Some websites provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services. Two such websites are:
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions with or without insurance, check out this article.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Botox, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Botox. However, if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Botox.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for Botox, see this article. You can also view these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Botox, refer to this article.
- Side effects. For details about Botox’s side effects, see this article. You can also look at the Botox prescribing information.
- Information about your condition. To learn about your condition, see our:
- headache and migraine hub and this article for information about migraine and Botox
- list of overactive bladder (OAB) articles and this article to learn about Botox and OAB
- this article for details about Botox and cervical dystonia
- this article for information about Botox and hyperhidrosis
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.