Beware of Counterfeit Botox®- Protect Yourself by Choosing a Reputable Injector

The popularity of Botox® as a cosmetic treatment continues to grow, but with its rise comes a potential risk: counterfeit Botox®. Recently, the FDA issued warnings about fake versions of Botox® circulating in several states, posing serious health risks to unsuspecting patients​​. Patients must understand the dangers of counterfeit Botox® and the importance of choosing a reputable, qualified injector.

Counterfeit Botox® is not only often ineffective but can also be extremely dangerous. Fake Botox® products have been linked to severe adverse reactions, including botulism, a potentially life-threatening condition. Symptoms of botulism from counterfeit Botox® can include muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, blurred vision, and respiratory issues​​.

These counterfeit products often come from unauthorized, unlicensed sources, making their quality and safety highly questionable. The FDA cannot confirm that these fake products meet U.S. manufacturing, quality, storage, and handling standards. Consequently, using counterfeit Botox® puts patients at risk of receiving a product that may be contaminated, improperly stored, or otherwise unsafe​​.

Authentic Botox® products manufactured by Allergan (now part of AbbVie) have specific identifiers. Genuine Botox® packaging will state the active ingredient as “OnabotulinumtoxinA.” Awareness of the packaging differences that can help distinguish counterfeit products is crucial. For example, fake products may display “Botulinum Toxin Type A” instead of “OnabotulinumtoxinA” and may have lot numbers or manufacturing information missing from the packaging​​.

If you are not receiving your Botox® treatments at Advanced Dermatology, it is vital to receive Botox® injections from a licensed, reputable medical professional to ensure safety. Here are vital steps to protect yourself:

  • Verify Credentials: Ensure your injector is a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or other qualified healthcare provider. Check their credentials and verify that they are authorized to administer Botox®.
  • Check the Source: Ask your healthcare provider where they source their Botox®. Genuine Botox® should be purchased from authorized distributors. You can request to see the packaging to verify its authenticity.
  • Research the Facility: Make sure the facility where you receive your treatment is licensed and has a good reputation. Avoid pop-up clinics, salons, or non-medical settings that may not follow proper protocols for storing and handling medical products.
  • Report Suspicious Products: If you suspect you have received counterfeit Botox®, report it to the FDA and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any adverse symptoms​.