Although the cosmetic use of Botox is generally safe when used as directed, the drug comes with a Black Box Label, the FDA’s most stringent warning. Consumer group Public Citizen petitioned the FDA for the warning in 2008, citing 180 reports of adverse effects in the U.S. and 16 deaths. Botox can spread to other parts of the body after injection, causing serious side effects; however, the chance of this occurring when the drug is used for cosmetic purposes is extremely unlikely. Serious side effects are more likely to occur in children being treated for muscle spasms.
If you’re considering getting Botox injections, experts advise that you ask about the qualifications of the person performing the injections, ensure the person is using real Botox from Allergan and watch to see if proper sanitation standards are followed. If you experience any symptoms of botulism after the injections, including difficulty swallowing, slurred speech or muscle weakness, seek immediate care.