What To Consider When Getting Botox Injections
As the top minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in the U.S. for years, botulinum toxin type A (the clinical name for Botox and other similar injectables) is world famous for its work in smoothing out fine lines. When people hear Botox, they think cosmetic medicine. Last year alone over 4.5 million botulinum toxin type A injections were administered in the U.S., dwarfing stats on the next most popular procedure by almost double.
The miracle serum’s use expands far wider and further back than the plastic surgery world. Botulinum toxin injections have been used for decades for everything from alleviating muscle spasms and overactive sweat glands, to treating Bell’s palsy and chronic migraines.
Despite the widespread administration and use of the drug, several dangers surround the use of botulinum toxin. It’s crucial to understand how it works and how to use it safely.
It’s important to remember Botox is a toxin. The botulinum toxin initially discovered for medical use through researching the muscle affecting disease, botulism. Today, the toxin has been studied and developed to address various problems by blocking signals from nerves to muscles.
If not administered properly, the toxin’s natural effect on muscles and surrounding tissue can cause serious, even life threatening problems. There have been instances around the world of counterfeit Botox injections being advertised as safe and effective, when in reality the substances don’t hold up to the rigorous standards that the clinical serum are held to.
In Hong Kong, at least four women reported sickness and complications after receiving “Botox” injections on the mainland.
“We are very concerned about recent cases and are maintaining close liaison with the Hong Kong Poison Information Centre of the Hospital Authority, medical professionals, and Mainland health and drug regulatory counterparts to identify similar cases,” said a Hong Kong Department of Health spokesman to South China Morning Post.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Botox injections to the stomach are being advertised as tools for weight loss but are causing possibly lethal side effects.
UAE bariatric specialist, Dr. Abdelrahman Nimeri, warns patients of the dangers of looking for a “quick fix” to their problems, and encourages people to make sure the drugs they are allowing in their bodies are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
After the detection of possible non-authorized distributors several years ago, the FDA was concerned about the possibility of dangerous versions of the toxin making its way into the United States. Since then, the FDA has been warning people to look out for counterfeit versions of Botox that make their way into the U.S. market illegally.
So look at the vial of injectable being used. Ways to spot a fake include the lot number being missing on the vial, missing entries next to “LOT:, MFG:, and/or EXP:,” and the active ingredient being listed as "Botulinum Toxin Type A" instead of "OnabotulinumtoxinA."
The standards set by the FDA are rigorous for the safety of the patient. A drug must satisfy extensive requirements in order for the FDA to approve it for use. So another important thing to consider about the safety of Botox is whether or not it is FDA-approved for the specific reason it’s being administered.
Another incredibly important factor when considering a Botox injection is the qualification of the administering medical professional. It’s smart to shop around for a good price, but do not choose a doctor based on price alone.
Experience is a must. Look or ask for before and after pictures of past patients. Knowing where to inject takes practice and expertise and could mean the difference between stellar results and permanent negative effects. Above all, communicate well and make sure you and your doctor are on the same page when it comes to your aesthetic and medical goals. Be safe!
The story appears exclusively on ZALEA.com.