Botox, What the FDA Wants You To Know (cont.)

The FDA is concerned that Botox has the potential for being abused. The ASAPS recently reported that unqualified people are dispensing Botox in salons, gyms, hotel rooms, home-based offices, and other retail venues. In such cases, people run the risks of improper technique, inappropriate dosages, and unsanitary conditions. "Botox is a prescription drug that should be administered by a qualified physician in an appropriate medical setting," says Toombs.

Although there is no chance of contracting botulism from Botox injections, there are some risks associated with the procedure. If too much toxin is injected, for example, or if it is injected into the wrong facial area, a person can end up with droopy eyelid muscles (ptosis) that could last for weeks. This particular complication was observed in clinical trials.

Other common side effects following injection were headache, respiratory infection, flu syndrome, and nausea. Less frequent adverse reactions included pain in the face, redness at the injection site, and muscle weakness. These reactions were generally temporary, but could last several months.

While the effects of Botox Cosmetic don't last, still, people don't seem to mind repeating the procedure every four to six months in order to maintain a wrinkle-free look. Battling the signs of aging in a non-invasive way, after all, is part of the allure of the product--that and the fact that there are no unsightly scars, and that there is very little recovery time with the procedure.

The FDA recommends that Botox Cosmetic be injected no more frequently than once every three months, and that the lowest effective dose should be used.

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The above information has been provided with the kind permission of the FDA online Consumer Magazine July-August, 2002.

Last Editorial Review: 8/9/2002