CDC to warn about fake Botox injections that have already caused at least 4 people to be hospitalized

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is preparing to alert doctors across the country about fake Botox injections for which at least four people have already been hospitalized, the agency reported this Wednesday. .

Clostridium botulinum is a nerve toxin that relaxes facial muscles that would otherwise cause wrinkles. Botox is generally considered safe, but applying too much to the wrong places can be harmful, according to the CDC.

The agency indicated Wednesday that it is coordinating an “outbreak investigation in several states” and that it was “aware of some botulism-like illnesses in several states as a result of botulinum toxin (commonly called Botox) injections administered in non-medical settings.” .

Health departments in Illinois and Tennessee have reported cases possibly linked to counterfeit Botox, with two people hospitalized in each state. Two other cases were reported in Tennesseebut they were not serious enough to warrant hospitalization.

Dr. Adam Friedman, dermatologist and professor of dermatology at George Washington University, stated that it is difficult to guarantee the quality of products that do not have reputable sources.

“It's a real danger when it comes to these counterfeit products,” Friedman stressed. “If something seems too good to be true, chances are it isn't.”

Warnings have increased across the country about medical procedures at unregulated medical spas. Illinois patients received injections from a nurse “who was performing work for which she was not authorized,” according to the state Department of Public Health.

The patients “reported botulism-like symptomssuch as blurred or double vision, drooping face, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, hoarse voice after Botox injection or with a possibly counterfeit version of the product,” Illinois public health officials said.