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.”