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19 people in 9 states, including NY and NJ, fall ill after botched Botox

The New York Daily News - 4/16/2024

Nineteen people from nine states, including New York and New Jersey, have recently reported harmful reactions after receiving “counterfeit or mishandled” injections of botulinum toxin, the prescription medicine sold as Botox, health officials said Monday.

Of those, nine individuals — all of them female ranging in age from 25 to 59 — required hospitalization. All but one reported receiving the injections for cosmetic purposes.

Four of them showed symptoms consistent with the possible spread of toxin beyond the injection site and had to be treated with botulism antitoxin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release.

The agency, along with the Food and Drug Administration and state and local health department officials, are currently investigating the reactions.

According to the CDC, some of the products being investigated were counterfeit or administered by “an unlicensed or untrained individual” in non-healthcare settings, such as spas and private residences.

Botox is an FDA-approved medication often prescribed to adults with moderate to severe frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines. The highly toxic substance works by blocking nerve signals to the muscles.

It’s generally considered safe when injected properly, however improper application can lead to blurry vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech and difficulty breathing.

Those with any of those symptoms following an injection are urged to go to an emergency room immediately and contact their healthcare provider.

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