What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You About Botox

Over the past 20 years Botox has become a familiar name. Made popular by celebrity usage and apparently amazing results, a Botox injection can be seen as a quick and economical (although temporary) alternative to a face lift. But is Botox right for you? Take the time now to educate yourself about this drug labeled a “liquid facelift” and decide for yourself. A bit of research can not only save your wallet, but could also save your life.

Celebrity Botox stories you may not have heard…

While some celebrities have praised Botox as a great solution for wrinkles and frown lines, others have had results that were unexpected. For example, Stevie Nicks, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, claims that she was shocked to find her eyebrows arched in a strange manner, and her eyes drooping the morning after receiving three small injections of Botox. She reports that her face remained distorted for four months.

Actress Dana Delany told Prevention magazine that her doctor hit a nerve when injecting her forehead with Botox causing a large hematoma. This permanently killed the nerve and she experiences a drooping eye still, years after receiving this treatment. Similarly, “Smash” co-star Angelica Houston reported her face “frozen” after receiving one round of injections. She has sworn off the so called “miracle drug.”

What is Botox, and what does it do?

Botox has a number of medical uses, but it has become popular as an injectable means of reducing frown lines, crows’ feet and wrinkles: Cosmetic Botox, according to manufacturer Allergan, is a compound of onabotulinumtoxinA, a toxin that is produced by the same bacterium that causes the botulism food poisoning. When injected in small doses into specific muscles, Botox poisons those muscles, paralyzing them. When the muscles are thus unable to contract, the effect is that the skin above shows fewer wrinkles. The paralysis wears off over time, and the wrinkles return in a few months.

Is Botox safe?

The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) warns that Botox and all botulin toxin products may spread from the injection site and distress other systems of the body. Of particular concern is that difficulty in breathing or swallowing have been reported.

Side effects have been severe enough to cause death in some patients,prompting the FDA to mandate that all makers of injectable toxins place a black box warning on their consumer information pamphlets, the strongest safety action that the FDA can take. Black box warnings are typically reserved for medications known to have serious or life-threatening risks.

Learn everything you can about Botox before you decide to have your doctor inject it into your face.

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1 http://www.etonline.com/news/72444_Stevie_Nicks_Opens_Up_About_Botox_Nightmare/index.html
2 http://www.prevention.com/dana-delany-healthy-living-anti-aging/index.shtml
3 http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2006/04/11/angelica_huston_recalls_botox_nightmare
4 http://www.allergan.com/products/medical_aesthetics/botox_cosmetic.htm
5 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/botox/MY00078