Botox is a very popular beauty treatment because it’s so effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. People really enjoy looking and feeling great, so demand for Botox nationwide is huge. The market’s large enough, in fact, that there are many companies producing counterfeit Botox.
The FDA, which is tasked with keeping America’s medications safe and effective, has been alerting physicians and the public about fake Botox since 2015. Fake Botox is most often found in spas, beauty parlors, and other settings that provide aesthetic treatments without medical oversight.
Is Fake Botox Dangerous?
Genuine Botox is produced by skilled professionals working in a highly regulated facility with strict quality control measures in place. Fake Botox can be made by anyone, working anywhere, with no oversight whatsoever. Some fake Botox has been found to contain no active ingredient whatsoever. Other fake Botox has contained far too much active ingredient, which can result in an overdose. Signs of an overdose include muscle weakness, trouble swallowing, and weak and shallow breathing. There is always a concern that a counterfeit medication contains undisclosed ingredients that can cause adverse effects in a patient, up to and including death.
Fake medications are dangerous and should be avoided!
2 Ways to Protect Yourself from Fake Botox
There are two ways to protect yourself from fake Botox. The first is to ensure you are receiving Botox treatment from an appropriately qualified, licensed medical professional. In Westchester County, that means a doctor or a certified aesthetic nurse specialist.
Hairdressers, beauticians, nurses’ aides, and other people who offer Botox treatment in non-clinical settings may have the best intentions, but they don’t have the necessary training to administer Botox safely. They also don’t have the safety protocols in place to ensure they’re not being provided with counterfeit Botox by unscrupulous distributors. If you find yourself tempted by the low prices these unlicensed providers offer, remember, good Botox is never cheap, and cheap Botox is never good.
Real Botox comes from Allergan
The second way you can protect yourself from fake Botox is to check the packaging your Botox treatment came in. A reputable cosmetic physician and their team will have no issue showing you this packaging. Any hesitation or reluctance to do so is a red flag!
When you’re looking at the packaging, there are three areas to check. Genuine Botox from Allergan has a hologram on the vial that displays a horizontal rainbow with the word Allergan through it. The active ingredient listed should be OnabotulinumtoxinA. If the active ingredient says Botulinum Toxin Type A, this is not genuine Botox. Finally, compare the lot number and expiration date on the box with that on the vial. Both should match!