Fake Botox Causes Health Crisis Across Nine States

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning after 19 individuals suffered severe health reactions linked to counterfeit Botox in nine states.

According to the FDA, these cases involved products that were likely “misbranded, adulterated, counterfeit, contaminated, improperly stored and transported, ineffective, and/or unsafe.”

Widespread Health Concerns

The affected individuals reported vision problems and difficulties in breathing and swallowing. These incidents were traced back to injections believed to be Botox but were instead obtained from unlicensed sources.

Michelle Waltenburg, a senior botulism epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlighted the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the unknown and unverified origins of these products.

“The sources of these products are unverified and unknown, which is why this situation is certainly concerning,”

Safety and Symptoms

Genuine Botox, produced by AbbVie, remains safe for its approved uses.

The counterfeit products, however, pose significant risks as they could potentially cause paralysis of respiratory muscles, a serious condition that could be life-threatening.

The CDC and FDA are investigating these cases closely, which have been detected in states including Colorado, Florida, and New York, among others.

Cases and Medical Responses

Many of the victims, mostly women around the age of 40, sought Botox injections for cosmetic reasons from non-professional settings like homes or spas.

Nine of these individuals were hospitalized, with four receiving botulism antitoxin treatment due to fears of toxin spread.

Fortunately, none of the affected patients required ventilatory support, and there have been no reported fatalities.

The FDA has released specific identifiers of counterfeit Botox which include incorrect lot numbers, mislabeling of the active ingredient, incorrect dosage units, and foreign language on the packaging. These markers are crucial for consumers and healthcare providers to recognize and avoid counterfeit products.

With information from NBC News

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