Purchase Botox from Trusted Sites Only
Botox is an important tool for keeping the skin rejuvenated and younger looking. This minimally invasive cosmetic procedure continues to be a crowd favorite almost a decade. Unfortunately, Botox’s popularity has also led to the proliferation of websites selling fraudulent, and watered-down versions of the product. This should be cause for alarm amongst clinicians and patients worldwide. These sites entice patients and medical practitioners with extremely low prices. However, these products may cause unwanted side effects and dangerous complications. While competitive pricing is beneficial to both clients and doctors, genuine brand name products will still cost slightly more—but, that isn’t a bad thing!
Before administering Botox or its alternatives, health-care practitioners must provide the patient with information regarding the drug, procedure, and expected outcomes. Doctors must also warn their patients about the side effects and risks of the treatment. Botox usually causes mild reactions due to the injection process, such as swelling or redness of the injected site. Other common reactions include muscle stiffness or flu-like symptoms. “Fake” Botox, as it’s often called, can cause partial paralysis of the face or permanent nerve damage.
You can ask your practitioner what product they are using, or even to see the label. True Botox will have an Allergan hologram on the bottle. It is also vital that you seek treatment from a licensed practitioner. This will also help you avoid fraudulent products.
Side effects and complications
Side effects and complications may still occur, but most of these are transient or reversible and can be avoided through proper training and good clinical judgement. An FDA-approved label in 2009 states:
There has not been a confirmed serious case of spread of toxin effect away from the injection site when BOTOX® has been used at the recommended dose to treat severe underarm sweating, blepharospasm, or strabismus, or when BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used at the recommended dose to treat frown lines. (FDA, 2009b, p. 1)
Medical professionals who administer Botox must be knowledgeable of neuromuscular, orbital, and surface anatomy, toxic pathophysiology, nerve conduction, standard electromyography techniques, and complications associated with the use of Botox. Only then can they provide safe and effective treatment to their patients. Side effects and complications of Botox include:
- Anaphylaxis: Allergic anaphylaxis may occur, which is why a careful medical history must be taken. The medical history should help to determine if the patient is allergic to human albumin or botulinum toxin.
- Vessel and nerve damage: To avoid damaging the cutaneous sensory nerves, the needle should not reach the periosteum when injecting into the corrugator supercilii muscle.
- Eyelid and eyebrow ptosis: When correcting the glabellar frown lines, ptosis of the upper eyelid may occur. This is mainly due to the migration of the injected toxin through the orbital septum.
These complications are more likely to occur when using a fake or watered-down product or by receiving treatment from an unlicensed injector. By ensuring you go to a licensed and experienced doctor who uses genuine Botox, you can avoid these complications.
Low prices ≠ good deal
Comparing prices to find a good deal is not wrong, but when it comes to prescription drugs, the costs of complications, side effects, and unhappy patients that result from using counterfeit products always outweigh the initial savings. Cosmetic procedures, in general, are not cheap, and price should not be the only consideration when choosing a product.
If a website is charging much less than the going rate for an injectable, consider it a red flag. Watered down versions of Botox are available from many websites. The effects of these medications do not last as long as those of the authentic version, and patients who are unhappy with a cosmetic procedure will generally attribute its failure to the administrator’s incompetence. Whether you are a doctor or a patient, always be sure that you are getting the real deal.
The Dangers of Counterfeit Botox
The FDA has alerted medical professionals to counterfeit versions of Botox being distributed in the United States. The biggest danger of counterfeit Botox is the fact that medical practitioners do not know what kind of drugs are in these products, and therefore will not know how to manage side effects or treat any complications that may arise. For an example, consider the case of hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers. These fillers are commonly used to treat wrinkles and to augment lips. Hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers can be easily dissolved with the enzyme hyaluronidase. Therefore, overcorrection and undesirable effects can be reversed by injecting hyaluronidase in the affected area. However, counterfeit products may not contain the same substances as authentic ones, so doctors will not know how to treat any problems that may arise. Even if it’s possible to determine the exact substance that was injected, permanent damage might occur before a suitable solution is found.
Verifying Botox Authenticity
To avoid purchasing counterfeit or watered-down Botox products, health-care practitioners should always order Botox from trusted websites. Be sure to only seek treatment from properly trained and licensed medical practitioners, such as plastic surgeons or dermatologists. As a medical practitioner, you can purchase genuine products from trusted websites.