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Botox Side Effects

Updated on September 21, 2009
Food Mould
Food Mould

Botox Side Effects - Introduction

Botox is the trade name for botulinum toxin A, a nuerotoxin. A nuerotoxin is a poisonous substance which causes damage to the nerve cells. Another example of a nuerotoxin is lead.

Botox is used clinically in small substances to treat strabismus (a misalignment of the eyes) and facial spasms and other neurological disorders characterized by abnormal muscle contractions. Botox is also used by cosmetic surgeons to smooth frown lines temporarily.

More simply put, Botox is a form of botulism which is injected into the facial muscles by cosmetic surgeons to paralyze or weaken the muscles that form wrinkles. Typically the effects of botox last three to six months and must be repeated to maintain results.

Getting A Botox Injection
Getting A Botox Injection

Botox Side Effects

Botox injections is a quick and relatively painless way to remove crows feet, frown lines, and brow lines. This cosmetic procedure is relatively popular, millions of Botox treatments have been administered in recent years, and is often used to enhance the results of other plastic surgery procedures such as a face lift, brow lift, or eyelid lift.

The procedure has been proved to be safe, although there are some risks that you ought to be aware of prior to undergoing treatment.

Possible injection side effects include:

- mild numbness, tingling, or pain in the injection area

- minor swelling, redness, or bruising aground the injection area

- an allergic reaction to the Botox

- no improvement after undergoing the Botox treatment

- temporary headache

- temporary nausea

- drooping eyelid or eyebrow, this can last for two to three weeks as it is usually temporary

- limited range of motion in muscle groups surrounding the injection site

- flu-like symptoms

- respiratory infection

Many of these side effects can be avoided if the patient avoids rubbing the injection area for about 12 hours after treatment. Also, the skill of the surgeon is important. You want to choose a qualified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing Botox injections.

Botox can react adversely to certain herbal remedies such as St John's Wort, vitamin E, and multivitamins, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, and heart and Alzheimer's drugs. The prospective Botox candidate will want to provide the doctor with a full list of over the counter and prescription drugs that they are currently taking or have taken recently. The doctor should ask for a complete medical history before performing the Botox injection procedure.

Some people cannot take the Botox injection. For instance, people with cardiovascular or neuromuscular disease should not undergo Botox treatment. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should also avoid Botox treatments because the effects of the Botox on the fetus and nursing baby have not yet been determined. People with pre-existing infections at the injection site should not take the Botox injection. Bottom line, doctors should always be made aware of any pre-existing conditions prior to performing the Botox injection procedure.

Botox is not a treatment for all the wrinkles and sagginess that occurs around the eyes on the face due to age. Sometimes Botox treatments will not do a thing to improve the wear and tear of age on our faces. Only a doctor who has lots of experience with Botox injections can assess whether a Botox treatment will actually produce the desired results.

Botox In The News - February 8, 2008

In a news article from CNN on February 8, 2008, more deaths and severe side effects have been reported as being linked to Botox and Myobloc injections in the United States by the FDA. Botulism toxin may spread through the body, resulting in respiratory paralysis. All the reported deaths were children, mostly those with cerebral palsy treated for limb spasms. As a result the FDA has taken the stance that all doctors should warn all patients who get botulinum toxin injections.

Botox is best known for minimizing wrinkles by paralyzing the facial muscles, but botulism toxin is used for a variety of conditions such as cervical dystonia, a neck condition where the patient suffers severe muscle spasms.

The FDA said the deaths that it is investigating so far all involve children, mostly cerebral palsy patients being treated for spasticity in their legs. This use of the drug has never formally been approved by the FDA, but other some countries have approved the use of botulinum toxin for treatment of this condition.

The FDA is also probing reports of illnesses in people of all ages who used the drugs for a variety of conditions, including the hospitalization of one woman who was given Botox for forehead wrinkles.

The FDA won't say exactly how many cases it is probing, but they do say it is not hundreds of cases, it is a relative handful of cases.

The FDA has warned that patients a receiving botulinum toxin injection for any reason - cosmetic or medical - should be told to seek immediate care if they suffer symptoms of botulism, including: difficulty swallowing or breathing, slurred speech, muscle weakness, or difficulty holding up their head.

The FDA has not concluded that botulinum toxin poses any new risk. The investigations are still in their early stages. The FDA said the problems may be related to overdoses, it also has reports of side effects with a variety of doses.

The Public Citizens group criticized the FDA's warning as falling short. They would like to see the FDA order a black-box warning, the FDA's strongest type, be put on the drug's labels and require that every patient receive a pamphlet outlining the risk before each injection.

Botox In The News - January 24 2008

Botox and it's side effects has been in the news as recently as January 24, 2008. A consumer group wants stronger warnings on Botox, and a similar one, Myobloc. Both are used to control painful neck spasms. Through the use of these drugs dozens of U.S. patients have suffered serious side effects and at least 16 have died.

The non-profit group Public Citizen asked the Federal Drug and Food Administration to send letters to doctors across the country warning them that muscle relaxing botulinum toxin, sold under the trade names Botox and Myobloc, can spread from the injection site to other parts of the body. When this happens, a patient's esophagus can become paralyzed and food or drink can be inhaled into the lungs resulting in pneumonia and death.

The consumer wants patients notified too about the problems and deaths, in literature that doctors would have to give them before injecting the drug.

The early signs of complications are dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. If you have had an injection of Botox and you have these symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.

Minor rare side effects include temporary drooping eyelids or eyebrows, for example. Most problems with Botox occur where it has been injected.

More than 4 million Botox procedures were performed in 2006, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

In it's petition, Public Citizen said it reviewed FDA data supplied by the two manufacturers and found 658 cases of people suffering adverse effects between Nov 1, 1997 and Dec 31, 2006. Of those, Public Citizen says, 180 developed serious complications, 87 required hospitalization and 16 died.

That is still a small percentage of those who use the drug.

The FDA approved the use of Botox for two eye muscle disorders in t 1989. In 2002 it was approved to temporarily improve the appearance of frown lines between the eyebrows. The FDA also OK'd the drug for a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder contractions and for severe underarm sweating.

The FDA approved Myobloc in 2000 as the first drug to reduce the severity of neck and shoulder muscle contractions and the abnormal head position and neck pain associated with cervical dystonia.

However, some doctors used the drugs off-label - to treat conditions for which they have not been approved - such as wrinkles on the lower face and neck. Those treatments are more likely to cause complications according to the Public Citizen's group, because the toxin is injected closer to the esophagus.

Botox - Some History

Botox (botulinum toxin A) was introduced over 30 years ago and was first administered by injection to the muscles surrounding the eye to patients suffering from crossed eyes. A derivative of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces a protein which interferes with muscle spasms by blocking nerve impulses and temporarily relaxing the muscle.

Successful trials early on resulted in Botox gaining FDA approval for treatment and/or relief of neck pain caused by cervical dystonia, involuntary facial muscle spasms, eye misalignment (strabismus), upper limb spasticity, juvenile cerebral palsy, and hyperhidrosis. Botox is currently being assessed for treating a variety of other conditions including migraine headaches, excessive sweating and back pain.

On April 15, 1992 Allergan, won FDA approval of Botox Cosmetic for treatment of glabellar lines (area located between the eyebrows, including the corrugator and procerus muscles). Since its approval in 1992, Botox injections have become the most sought-after treatment in clinics nationwide. Wrinkles that are caused by muscle contraction, such as frown lines, crow's feet, forehead creases, and neck bands can be safely and successfully treated with Botox.

It must be noted that Botox does not cure a condition when treated with the drug, it only relieves the patient of the symptoms temporarily because after 3 to 6 months the Botox injection must be performed again to continue its benefits to the patient.

Watch This Woman Get Her Botox Injections


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    • profile image

      Uday 4 years ago

      Botox injection has been suggested for my daughter to cure her toe walking habit how safe is it. She is 4.5 years now.

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      Tartus 4 years ago

      Please help. I just received my fourth series of botox injections for chronic migraines. I still have daily migraines but this is probably due to my premenopausal age. I feel as though my esophagus has been closing. I have trouble swallowing foods and liquids! Will this go away?! I no longer want to receive botox. Can anyone relate and help!!!!

    • profile image

      yorkville botox 4 years ago

      For making the skin smooth and wrinkles free botox injection is used. This post is very nice and the information about the side effects of the botox injection are explained in very good manner. The side effects of this botox injection are not very serious and they disappear in few days. Thanks for sharing.

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      Susan 5 years ago

      Believe me - I've been in Botox hell for the last 17 months. The diagnosis for this hell is botulism. If any of you are wondering if you are sick because of Botox simply look up Botox Cosmetic Patient Information Guide and it will answer all the questions you've asked here on this forum. It will tell you that not only can your injection of Botox cause Botulism but also Hepatits, Aids and Creutzfeld - Jakobs disease. Doctors will swear it's not possible - don't know the symptoms of botulism, don't know how to test for it or treat it - or that there is an anti-toxin that you could have been given to stop the progression of your illness. Look into how many law suits there have been over this drug and then pray for us all because this poison has been FDA approved for almost every symptom under the sun. God Bless and good luck.

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      Catherine 5 years ago

      I have botox injections in my legs to prevent severe muscle spasms due to MS. It really helps, & I can even bend my left leg which is usually too stiff to bend! Recently, I suffered a mild heart attack, & wonder if the botox may have relaxed the heart muscle to cause the attack. I have none of the risk factors for heart problems. I have low blood pressure, am underweight, what do you think?

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      Val 5 years ago

      I have been having botox injections for frown lines for many years, I love the results and zero side effects.

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      Becky 5 years ago

      Wow. What a lot of great info and just happened to find u by accident. I too just had botox and one eye is lazy. My husband said he cdn't tell and he doesn't even know I did it. Can't believe all the side effects. My anesthetician told me it wasn't from Botox and gave mr another injection to try to lift it in another part of lower brow! Geez. It's been less than

      Two wks so am praying it will get better soon. Thks for yr honesty Blessings

    • profile image

      charlie johnson 5 years ago

      I use the botox for headaches. I was in an accident and the neck muscles refuse to relax. ( I had a previous cervical problem before )The first treatment worked well on one side but not the other. 3 months later I did another series, the muscles in my neck on the leht side will not respond to the treatment. Does any one know , do you think it is worth getting a 3rd round again in three months? When yoou get these injections their is alot of places where they do them. I stopped counting at29 the last time. When these are done you can here the muscles Crunch while the botox is injected. YES THER IS PAIN INVOLVED IN THE TREATMENT AND YES IT IS VERRY EXPENSIVE, IT ONLY TAKES 20 MINUTES, A LONGGGGGG 20 MINUTES..

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      georgia 5 years ago

      Absolutely skipp Botox, unless you plan to continue For Life on it. I'm 45, and had it primarily in my forehead, brow frown, and corner of eyes, and below too. I have found, after it's all gone, you are left with LETHARGIC muscles.. Meaning, the lines look larger. The WIDTH between, say the row of wrinkles, horizontally on the Forehead are THICKER, with more space in between. I'm shocked. Likewise, every where else... My skin did not overnight, or over months get saggy. I do Not have skin-sun damage. IT's this GARBAGE TOXIN. Don't Go there. There is a CATCH, duh.

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      Mariu 5 years ago

      Every time I get BOTOX on the side of my eyes, I suffer a 3 to 4 week constant non-stop's horrible. Be careful and aware of this side effect. It affects my daily life, I can't go to work, can't drive, etc. NEVER again!!

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      chris 6 years ago


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      health screening in singapore 6 years ago

      from what ive read from the net, it would not affect if you take with only weeks of pregnancy.

      You cant be sure until you gave birth. the best suggestion is to take your baby a newborn screening.

    • profile image

      lynn 6 years ago

      I had botox several months ago in my forehead and I experienced a very rapid heartbeat that did not subside until a monthlater. This can be a side effect of the botox that I read about on other sites. I would not have it again and think that the FDA should revisit this drug and have a much stronger warning about side effects.

    • profile image

      Pearl chemist 6 years ago

      hey u can check some remidies for Botox Side Effects


    • profile image

      Monse 6 years ago

      Does anyone have used Botox to treat strabismus in children?? I really need more info?

    • profile image

      John 7 years ago

      The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) is the leading minimally-invasive aesthetic physician association in the world.

    • profile image

      jon siem 7 years ago

      I have been suffering from cervical dystonia for about 10yrs, botox helps me to function were as before I was a suicide time bomb. I believe it helps people to keep on living.

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      Jullie Albertson 7 years ago

      I had bottom injections on both sides of nose and forehead,within a week all he'll broke out.I started to have eye pain,swelling on left side of face,and a strange discoloration across bridge of nose with other problems too.I wanted to know if anyone has had these problems? It has been 15 months and for us that suffer we are truly living in a nightmare,I would like to talk to anyone out there as I fear this will end my life,please call678-300-8009 If there are any docs to help,please help!!!!!!!!

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      Cherry Smith 7 years ago

      I had Botox 5 months ago and have been having respiratory problems ever since. I have never been a smoker nor asmatic. There should be more research and warnings given before people use this toxin. The drug companies try to stop any negative publicity as they're making too much money from vain aging women. look at thalidamite. Even when side effects were known, the drug kept being sold because greed mattered more than people.

    • profile image

      Marcsi 7 years ago

      Iam one of the Botox victims.I had a 1 horror year with lots of symptoms.Read the forum before you think about Botox.

    • profile image

      Dmichele dsvis 7 years ago


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      Lauren 7 years ago

      my son is 11 months old and has torticollis. he has gone to physical therapy since he was 3 months old and now the docs want to give him a botox injection to help with the therapy and to help his orthotic helmet do its job. is the botox safe for him?

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      nina 7 years ago

      I’m a Botox user for the last 4 years and never had any problem but last time when my plastic surgeon was out of town I got it in Reveal Spa 3 months ago in Tyson’s-VA and since I got sick lick flu symptom and cough for 3 months and nothing seems to help. I do not know how long I have to be sick like that. Any suggestion?

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      Kathy 7 years ago

      I as well as my sister, have had severe (not immediate) reactions to botox. Now we both had mold poisioning (which makes nerotoxins a problem to begin with), and didn't have this diagnosed properly before we began our beloved botox treatments. We both started having severe food allergies, trouble with almost ALS symptoms (ie. muscle weakness, inablity to form words, inability to move limbs at times, severe brain fog and not the least intolerable, severe insominia. I really felt like I was dying and so does my sister. We both ended up in biodetox centers, and my sister had better results in a place is Dallas that had the hyperbaric chambers. I would really love to know if anyone else is experinecing these kind of severe side effects. I would love to think they are not a function of the botox, but my sister had an allergy test for it and almost ended up in the hospital. I am thinking that not enough research has been done, but I am seriously jonseing for my botox fix. My neuroligist does not recommend it for cases such as this. I do however, really miss my botox, and think the women who did it for me was brilliant at it. Everything I read seems to think this is not possible. But then why is it not recommended for people with ALS?

      Anyone have the answers to these questions? I'd really like to go get injected right away, but I can't go back to the inablility to speak or think. I would love some imput.

      Many Thanks,


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      denise 7 years ago

      my sister had botox on her forehead for her wedding a couple of years ago she was left bruised .the day of her wedding she looked complety stuned and her head was very shiny.

    • profile image

      Jessica@botoxeffects 7 years ago

      Just like any other medical procedure, Botox is not without its share of side effects. The side effects are not life-threatening but they can affect your quality of life.


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      Jen of California 7 years ago

      Dont' trust Dr. Richard Alan Weiss for anything. He is a quack and a fake. This idiot muliated the top half of my face when I was 27 and didn't even show any remorse. Without my informed consent, he cut made countless cuts, divots, indentations, zig zag stitch marks, puncture marks all over my eyelids, my eyebrows, to the sides of each of my eyes, on to different parts of my forehead. I paid him for eyelid revision work and he didn't do what I paid him to do. He used my face as a training subject and mutilated my face severely. He deformed me and shamelessly continues to advertise what a great doctor/plastic surgeon he is. Be awared people. Don't trust his testimonials unless you know those people personally. These kinds of testimonials maybe done in exchange for a fee and/or free services such as botox shots. I do believe Dr. Weiss still have other victims out there, but I am the most outspoken one. I believe in Karma and I know the higher power one day will punhish this greedy evil person that call himself a doctor.

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      joey 7 years ago

      in the next few days im having botox injections in my legs to weaken the musle is this safe plz email me@ thanks- joe

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      eddie 7 years ago

      Dont use this thing its not safe you people are stupid too look young you put ur life at risk my mother did the same thing and now is laying 6 feet underground and for wat to look young Stupidity

    • profile image

      Susan 7 years ago

      I recently had a botox injection for forehead lines and now have a red rash with welts on my calves. Has anyone experienced this - is it an allergic reaction. If so, anything dangerous or urgent?

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      Pharmacy 8 years ago

      Does the botox injection hurt?

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      mary loo  8 years ago

      My Daughter is 27 months now and her feet are turning in and some times tripping her. I have had cerebral Palsy all my life is she getting it? Could It be form the botox treatment that i had when i was pregnant?

    • profile image

      mary loo  8 years ago

      My Daughter is 27 months now and her feet are turning in and some times tripping her. I have had cerebral Palsy all my life is she getting it?

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 8 years ago from Australia

      Hi, I had Botox Injections for a fuller lip recently. It looks good, and was relatively painless, but I've had a few side effects (lips can form some strange, abnormal positions and trouble when drinking from a cup!) See my Hub for more details.

    • JulieChrisler profile image

      JulieChrisler 8 years ago from Cazadero, CA

      Hello Shee, Apparently drooping of the eyelild occurs in about 1 - 2% of all injections. The drooping is caused by local dissemination of the toxin in the injection site and can be minimized by dosing. There are two opthalmalogical drops that can help: 10% phenylephrine drops and the second is lopidine. If drooping eyelids occur, it is usually minimal and is usually resolved within two weeks. Hope this helps and good luck to you. Julie

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      shee 8 years ago

      i had botox injection a week ago and my right eye started to drop e days after,now my right eye is totally closed and my left eye is starting to droop.please tell me,is this temporary?how long is this going to last? i am so depressed!

    • JulieChrisler profile image

      JulieChrisler 8 years ago from Cazadero, CA

      Hello Mary Loo, According to a small survey that was conducted in the US botox injections while you are pregnant appears to be relatively safe for both expectant mother and fetus. You can find the survey results here:

      Unless your daughter exhibits some problems that you feel are related to the botox injections I would not be too worried about it at this stage of the game. This is just my opinion and I am not a medical doctor - but do speak from personal experience. My own daughter had a problem at birth that could have caused brain damage - but I did not want to drive myself crazy looking for brain damage in my child, so found it easier to let it go and to take a wait and see attitude instead. Today she is a healthy and happy 27 year old with children of her own and certainly does not exhibit any brain damage.

      I hopes this helps you out somewhat. Take care Mary Loo, and good luck with your baby. Julie

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      mary loo  8 years ago

      i was pragnet when i was taking the botox treatment in my legs. I didn't know i was pragnet. What could happen to my daughter for taking the botox treatment in my legs