14 people hospitalized from counterfeit Botox, says CDC

A big, bold warning coming from the CDC and the FDA about a popular cosmetic procedure. There are rising cases of counterfeit Botox being reported. People have been hospitalized after injections with unapproved Botox. 

It's reported  that 19 people across nine states were treated for symptoms of botulism antitoxin. Botox is, in part, the botulinum toxin that causes botulism. Used improperly, it can cause paralysis, trouble breathing and swallowing, dry mouth, incontinence and more. 

Many of us are comfortable with the Botox product. Its usage is so normal that doctor's offices offer discounts at lunch hour for working men and women to pop in and get injections. It's like a little facelift. But this familiarity with it has led to some lesser-known spas offering it for cut rate deals. Sometimes it's administered in unlicensed settings, like parties.   

So how do you know if you are getting the real FDA approved stuff? First, we always go to a licensed facility with licensed professionals. Look for a seal that may have been tampered with. The real Botox is manufactured by AbbVie and the box may say that or Allergan Aesthetics. 

This is what a counterfeit product may look like

The outer carton and vial may have lot number C3709C3. The counterfeit carton will display "Botulinum Toxin Type A." The real one would say OnabotulinumtoxinA. See the difference? It will be in 150-unit doses. The real one doesn't have that dose. And the language is not in English.

To read the full alerts from both federal press releases, follow these links:  CDC and FDA