"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

CDC is investigating illnesses from potentially fake Botox

April 16, 2024 – At least 19 people from nine states have reported serious reactions after receiving Botox injections from unlicensed or untrained people or in non-health care settings corresponding to homes and spas, and now the CDC is investigating, the agency says.

Reactions included blurred vision, double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing or respiration, and other symptoms of botulism.

Of the 19 people – all female and with a median age of 39 years – 9 (60%) were hospitalized and 4 (21%) were treated with botulism antitoxin due to concerns that the botulinum toxin had spread beyond the injection could website. Additionally, five were tested for botulism and the outcomes were negative.

The CDC, several state and native health departments, and the FDA are investigating these reports, the statement said.

States reporting cases include Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Washington. According to the CDC, among the people “received injections with counterfeit products or products from untested sources. The investigation into the sources of these products is ongoing.” All but one report involved the administration of botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes.

Recently reported cases of botulism-like illnesses in Illinois and Tennessee that could be linked to counterfeit Botox (botulinum toxin) prompted the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) on Friday to call on states to extend oversight of medical care to be strengthened in all areas. including medical spas.

The CDC summary recommends that physicians consider the opportunity of hostile effects from a botulinum toxin injection, including for cosmetic reasons, if patients show signs and symptoms suggestive of botulism near the injection site. Symptoms of botulism include blurred or double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, difficulty respiration, and muscle weakness.

For people considering botulinum toxin for cosmetic or medical reasons, the CDC recommends the provider and facility, corresponding to: For example, a clinic or spa, ask in the event that they are licensed and trained to perform these injections, ask if the product is approved by the FDA and from a reliable source, and “if in doubt, don’t get a shot.” “

This “should never happen” “The report of people getting botulism from botulinum toxin injections is frightening and should never happen,” said Dr. Lawrence J. Green, clinical professor of dermatology at George Washington University in Washington, DC

These reports display “the importance of receiving botulinum toxin injections only in a doctor's office and by or under the direction of a qualified, trained and licensed individual, such as a board-certified dermatologist,” said Green, who practices in Rockville, MD . “Other types of physicians may not hold themselves to the same standards of professionalism, particularly when patient safety is not always a priority.”

If systemic botulism is suspected, the CDC recommends calling your local or state health department for advice and antitoxin clearance (in addition to information on reporting hostile events). Alternatively, the 24-hour telephone number for the CDC's Clinical Botulism Service is 770-488-7100.