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Feature Fact Check

Haytox: what is the evidence for a Botox spray for hay fever?

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q623 (Published 12 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q623
  1. Sangeetha Nadarajah, freelance journalist
  1. Canada
  1. sangeetha{at}drnadarajah.com

A popular Botox nasal spray for hay fever is the subject of bold claims despite a lack of clinical evidence, reports Sangeetha Nadarajah

A spray treatment has gained popularity among people with hay fever in Australia and the UK over the past two years.1 It is administered in clinic to the nasal passage as an aerosol through a disposable intranasal atomiser device typically used to administer emergency drugs.

Listings from private cosmetic clinics seen by The BMJ hail it as a breakthrough for chronic rhinitis, offering, potentially, several months of relief without discomfort.

Haytox was first trademarked in December 2019 by Francesco Barbagallo, a cosmetic physician based in Melbourne, Australia.2 On its website, Barbagallo’s clinic Medico Estetica said the procedure has “absolutely no side effects,”3 although it acknowledged that “the treatment may cause an effect like a minor hay fever attack that can last for up to 10 minutes.” Other clinics, such as Louve Skin Clinic, label the procedure “extremely low risk due to it being non-invasive.”4

The Contour Clinic, which has branches in New South Wales and Queensland, says the Haytox treatment is approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a government regulatory authority.5 Cosmetic Injectables Australia states that “anti-wrinkle injections are quite safe and are TGA approved for a variety of medical conditions,” and lists Haytox as a treatment.6

But TGA tells The BMJ that Haytox “is not approved and …

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