CDC investigating people sickened by fake Botox

Counterfeit or mishandled Botox has been linked to harmful reactions in nine US states, including nine hospitalisations, according to an investigation by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of April 12, a total of 19 women aged 25 to 59 reported harmful reactions after receiving botulinum toxin injections from unlicensed or untrained individuals or in non-healthcare settings, such as homes and spas, in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Washington.

The reported side effects included blurry and double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, fatigue and generalised weakness, according to an alert issued by the agency, which said some people received injections with counterfeit products or products with unverified sources.

Four people were treated with botulism antitoxin because of concerns that the botulinum toxin could have spread beyond the injection site. All but one of the 19 women were given the product for cosmetic reasons. Botox is also used to prevent or treat other conditions including migraine, urinary incontinence and spasticity.

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