CDC Warns of Fake Botox Shots in 9 States

19 women experienced harmful reactions, including difficulty breathing, slurred speech
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2024 1:14 PM CDT
CDC Warns of Fake Botox Shots in 9 States
In this June 5, 2009, photo a woman has Botox injected at Reveal in Arlington, Va.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The CDC is warning about counterfeit or botched Botox shots that have led to hospitalizations in numerous states. Nineteen women in nine states experienced harmful reactions. Nine people were hospitalized and four were treated with an antitoxin due to fears that the Botox—a purified form of the botulinum toxin—had spread beyond the injection site, HealthDay reports. The CDC warned about the "counterfeit or mishandled" shots, touted to reduce wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles, in a news release, stressing the injections came "from unlicensed or untrained individuals or in non-healthcare settings, including homes and spas."

The spread of botulinum toxin can lead to botulism, a potentially fatal illness. Five people were tested for botulism, with results coming back negative. Still, people reported experiencing symptoms of botulism including blurry or double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and general weakness. The CDC said those considering Botox injections should confirm the provider is licensed and trained and using a product approved by the FDA and obtained from a reliable source.

Localized symptoms, including bruising and pain, are expected with Botox, per USA Today. But if you get an injection and experience more severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. The injections reported by the CDC were administered in Tennessee, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Washington state. (More Botox stories.)

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