Sunday, February 3, 2008


You may have noticed some alarming headlines about Botox, when a U.S. consumer group called Public Citizen released a petition asking the FDA for stronger warnings for Botox and Myobloc, the two forms of botulinum toxin currently approved in the United States.

But before you write Botox off, take note: All the safety concerns Public Citizen raises are already addressed in the drug's labeling. These concerns are nothing new.

First, let me clarify an important point about Botox: While it is most commonly known as a wrinkle treatment, it also has many important medical uses. In fact, medical and cosmetic Botox are sold in different packages. The Botox Cosmetic® used to treat wrinkles is a much lower dose than that used to treat medical problems.

Bottom line: Botox Cosmetic® is safe for cosmetic use when used by experienced doctors. If you are interested in trying Botox treatments for cosmetic purposes, ensure that the they are performed as safely as possible by following a few important steps:

1. Always get your Botox injections from a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or oculoplastic surgeon.

2. Make sure your doctor is board-certified. To find a board-certified dermatologist in your area, visit

3. Ask your doctor how many patients he or she has treated with Botox. If the number is under 100, go to someone else.

These products have been used for over 17 years worldwide, and I have never heard of a complication after cosmetic treatment by an experienced doctor.

Several other forms of botulinum toxin are expected to be approved soon, and I absolutely agree that patients should have as much information at their disposal as possible.



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