There are risks associated with any medical procedure. Botox is FDA approved and has been used successfully on over 11 million men and women. As is the case with any medical treatment, there is always the possibility adverse side effects, ranging from mild irritations to severe complications.

There are risks associated with any medical procedure. Botox is FDA approved and has been used successfully on over 11 million men and women. However, as is the case with any medical treatment, there is always the possibility of an adverse side effect, ranging from mild irritations to severe complications, even death.

Botox: What is it?

Botox is a prescription medicine that is injected directly into the muscles of the face in order to reduce the overall appearance of fine lines, wrinkles around the eyes and mouth as well as the deeper groves often found on the forehead. It is a simple, relatively painless procedure in which the medicine blocks the nerve impulses to the underlying muscles that cause said wrinkles and lines. Botox produces amazing results. Instant results. Dramatic results.

It is safe. The FDA says so. 11 million satisfied users say so. There is, however, always a risk of side effects and every patient needs to be aware.


The medical name for Botox is botulinum toxin. It is the toxin that causes botulism in large enough doses. For this application the dose is miniscule, controlled and harmless. In fact, the toxin is sterilized before injection, meaning that it is no longer living prior to use and the risk of contracting botulism is very low. Medical treatments are readily available to fight botulism, which is most often contracting from eating spoiled, improperly preserved food products. The symptoms to watch out for are:

• Double vision

• Slurred speech

• Difficulty talking

• Difficulty swallowing

• General muscle weakness

• Facial paralysis

• Trouble Walking

• Loss of bladder control

• Trouble breathing

The above symptoms are serious, regardless of the cause, and require immediate medical attention.

What Else Can Happen?

Breathing and swallowing problems can occur if the muscles used in conjunction with breathing and/or swallowing become unintentionally affected by Botox. Other more common side effects that you may experience are:

• Cotton mouth, dry mouth

• Slight discomfort or continued irritation at the site of the injection

• Temporary bruising

• General fatigue

• Neck pain or stiffness

• Dry eyes

• Headache

• Itching

• Wheezing

• Any asthma or asthma-like symptoms

• Dizziness

• Red welts

Who Shouldn’t you Use Botox?

There are a few individuals that shouldn’t use Botox for a variety of reasons. It can be a disappointment, but your overall health is more important. Your physician also has a slew of other products and procedures at their disposal that they can discuss with you in greater depth in person.

You should not use Botox injections if:

• You know that you are allergic to Botox or one of the main ingredients in Botox.

• You have had an adverse allergic reaction to Botox in the past.

• The skin in and around the planned injection site is irritated or infected.

• You are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.

• You have had Botox within the last four months.

• You have recently taken any prescribed or over-the-counter medication including antibiotics via injection, muscle relaxants, allergy medicine, cold medicine or sleeping medicine.

• You have breathing problems including emphysema and asthma.

• You have swallowing problems.

• You have any disease that affects the muscles and/or nerves. Lou Gehrig’s disease is an example of this.

• You have a history of bleeding problems.

• You have had a previous surgery on your face, for any reason.

• You have any weaknesses in your face, including droopy eyelids or difficulty raising your eyebrows.

• You have any type of surgery scheduled, including dental.

• Any recent sudden or strange changes to your facial appearance.

You should be certain to disclose any and all of the above to your physician before undertaking botox treatments, as well as any reactions you may experience afterward. If you’re one of the rare individuals that suffers botox side effects, there can be serious complications.

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