FDA Warns 'Injectables are NOT Cosmetics'

While many women don't give a second thought to Botox parties and free samples of Restylane at the mall, the FDA is encouraging consumers to think twice before jumping into the latest injectables trend.

Botox continues to be the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic surgery treatment for both men and women, but recent reports indicate several harmful side effects linked to the injection. Botox is typically used to treat fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, but does serve other purposes; some doctors use Botox to treat migraines, reduce underarm sweating, and even for breast augmentation.

Still, the widely-used injectable is under investigation as more people report adverse side effects and cases of 'botulism poisoning.' A number of physicians around the country have received warnings and even prison sentences for distributing and using Botox illegally. Some medical centers have gone as far as rebranding and misrepresenting the drug, using copycat - and often inexpensive - alternatives to Botox and injecting them into patients. Doctors participating in these 'get rich quick' schemes are penalized with fines and jail time, but injured patients often need surgery and extensive care to reverse the damage.

The FDA recently reiterated it's campaign against buying cosmetic injectables online with a press release, 'Do It Yourself Botox, Not a Good Idea', stating that "genuine cosmetic injectables may only legally be purchased by licensed physicians, and should only be injected by one’s treating physician...counterfeit injectables and injectables that are not used properly can have devastating side effects. By injecting yourself or someone you know, you are not only taking on risk, you are engaging in the practice of medicine without a license – which in all 50 states is a criminal offense.”

Further Reading

  • Motivated by his wife and kids, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who once called himself “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen”, disclosed Tuesday he secretly underwent Gastric Banding (Lap Band Surgery) on February 16, 2013, performed by Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

  • Sound Surgical Technologies, the company behind Vaser Liposelection the Vaser ultrasound device, has developed the VaserShape system, a non-surgical device that helps reduce cellulite and inches in certain areas of the body. The VaserShape device is a non-invasive body contouring system powered by ultrasonic laser. The device is designed to disrupt fat cells beneath the skin by delivering ultrasound energy deep into the skin’s tissues.

  • Women who want to squeeze into their favorite pair of high heels but can’t find the perfect fit do have the option of undergoing cosmetic foot surgery. This procedure is designed to sculpt and shape the foot by lengthening or trimming the toes, and may also help to remove painful bunions and other growths that are causing pain around the feet and ankles.