When was the last time you went to a doctor and asked to see a medication’s label? Probably never. People generally trust physicians to provide legitimate products when they are being injected into our bodies. And the vast majority of the time, there’s nothing to worry about. But if you’ve ever had BOTOX® or are curious about it (who isn’t?), it’s important to be cautious. Checking the product label may help avoid getting injected with a counterfeit or diluted version of the popular wrinkle-reducing treatment.
“BOTOX was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002 and was used to treat other medical conditions for many years before then,” says Dr. David Bank, a board-certified dermatologist at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco. Dr. Bank also mentions that “because of its muscle-relaxing properties, BOTOX was originally used to treat eyelid twitches, overactive bladder, and other conditions caused by muscle spasms. Thanks to its FDA approval, the safety and reliability of BOTOX is well documented.”
The key, then, is ensuring the BOTOX used by the person performing the injections is authentic.
An authentic Allergan package of BOTOX includes a distinctive hologram on the label and is manufactured in Irvine, Calif. But counterfeit packaging can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing, so the best way to have peace of mind when getting a treatment is to choose your provider wisely. Don’t just Google “BOTOX near me” and trust that you’ll be seeing a reputable physician.
Clinics can buy BOTOX from Canada or Europe that is imported illegally, and you won’t necessarily know the difference. Some people shop around for the best deal on BOTOX injections, but remember that old saying — if a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid “BOTOX parties” or Groupon deals when getting injections. Instead, find a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon and look up the specialist you’re considering online to see reviews and browse his or her practice’s website. It’s very unlikely that board-certified specialists would risk their medical licenses by using counterfeit BOTOX.
Overall, remember: Bargain hunting is great when you’re shopping for clothes. When it comes to medical procedures, go with quality.