FDA, CDC warn of side effects from fake Botox after 11 patients hospitalized

A vial filled with a clear liquid and a syringe sitting on a table.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Officials with the Centers for Disease Control are sharing a warning about counterfeit Botox.

Our news partners at WTVD in Raleigh report that almost two dozen people have submitted complaints after harmful reactions.

In some cases, the complications were so serious that patients were hospitalized; the CDC reports that out of the 22 reports, 11 patients were taken to the hospital.

The Food and Drug Administration reports that fake Botox can result in blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, constipation, incontinence, shortness of breath, weakness, and difficulty lifting one’s head.

WTVD reports there have been complaints in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York City, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

While there haven’t been any cases related to fake Botox in North Carolina, doctors say it’s still important to research who you go to when it comes to cosmetic injections like Botox.

Dr. Joseph Franklin of Franklin Plastic Surgery told WTVD that, while the number of reported complications is small, there’s still cause for concern.

“The first thing to look at is what are the credentials of the people who are providing the product, and then once you do that, what products are they using?” Franklin said. “There are different varieties on the black market that don’t stay where you put them, and that’s the issue.”

Both the CDC and FDA report that in each case of counterfeit Botox, the injections were done by untrained or unlicensed workers and not done in healthcare settings but in homes and spas.

According to WTVD, cosmetic injections like Botox can only be done by medical professionals in the state of North Carolina.

(WATCH BELOW: Man accused of drinking Four Lokos while giving Botox injections without license at spa)

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