HEALTH

Fake Botox is sending people to the hospital. Here’s what you need to know

May 16, 2024, 7:35 PM | Updated: 7:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Millions of Americans get Botox every year, but as counterfeit versions are circulating, doctors are urging Utahns to be cautious.

As of Thursday, 15 people from nine states have reported harmful reactions after receiving injections from unlicensed or untrained providers or in non-healthcare settings, such as homes or spas. While no deaths have been reported, 11 of those individuals had to be hospitalized.

“There are a lot of practitioners out there who are doing some of these kinds of procedures without necessarily having the appropriate training,” said Dr. Kian Eftekhari, a board-certified surgeon with the Eyelid Center of Utah.

According to Eftekhari, when administered appropriately, Botox is safe, but in the wrong hands or the wrong setting, serious side effects can occur.

“When you have poisoning from Botox, it can actually weaken other muscles around your body,” he said. “That can be really problematic because sometimes it affects the muscles that help you breathe.”

Eftekhari showing some of the most commonly injected areas.

Eftekhari showing some of the most commonly injected areas. (Courtesy: Eyelid Center of Utah)

Patients who received the counterfeit product also reported experiencing blurry or double vision, drooping eyelids, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and fatigue.

So, how can you ensure your safety when considering Botox? Eftekhari emphasized the importance of finding a licensed provider in a healthcare setting.

“I think people have a tendency to think that Botox is not a big deal because it’s so common,” he said. “But it is a medication, and it does need to be used carefully.”

Make sure you are receiving the FDA-approved Botox. Eftekhari said a typical Botox box will say “Botox Cosmetic,” have a pink or purple top, and is made by Allergan.

Counterfeit products may display wrong ingredients, indicate inaccurate dosing, or contain writing not in English. The FDA released images as examples of counterfeit Botox.

A counterfeit package of Botox.

A counterfeit package of Botox. (FDA)

If you have concerns, Eftekhari said it’s completely appropriate to ask your injector if you can look at the box or vial they are using.

“It’s not that Botox itself is unsafe, but if you’re not getting the actual medication, that’s a whole different story,” he said.

You can find licensed Botox providers near you on the official Botox website.

KSL 5 TV Live

Health

A new dispenser in the Salt lake County Library Granite Branch offers patrons free period products....

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Salt Lake County Library offers free period products at all branches

All 18 branches of the county library system now provide free tampons and pads in women's and unisex restrooms, and Baker says this change makes the difference between patrons staying to utilize library services or going home.

1 day ago

A local mutual aid grassroots organization, the Coconut Hut, has been providing those who are homel...

Brianna Chavez

Grassroots group aids those unsheltered during extreme heat

A local mutual aid grass roots organization, the Coconut Hut, has been providing those who are homeless with water, other items, and tools.

1 day ago

A new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute finds Utah's fertility rate is still dropping...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Utah fertility rates still on the decline, mirroring nationwide trends

Utah's fertility rate continues to decline, and it doesn't look like there will be a turnaround anytime soon.

3 days ago

Four menthol vaping products were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, the ...

Jen Christensen, CNN

FDA sign-off on menthol e-cigarettes ‘flies in the face of public health,’ anti-tobacco groups say

Four menthol vaping products were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, the first non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products to get the agency’s sign-off. The decision drew harsh criticism from pediatricians and anti-tobacco groups.

4 days ago

Researchers were able to locate a specific gene variant correlated with some people's weight gain, ...

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Researchers have found a ‘clear genetic trigger for obesity’ that applies to some people

Obesity isn’t just a matter of food and exercise — it may be in your genetic code, according to new research.

5 days ago

Tom Nehring practicing his punches against a punching bag with another boxer....

Emma Benson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This is medicine for me’: A Utah man is battling Parkinson’s with boxing

An interactive class is helping those effected by Parkinson’s disease by keeping them active with boxing.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Fake Botox is sending people to the hospital. Here’s what you need to know