What do I need to know about Botox?

Risks of Botox Injections and Botulism 

Botox is most frequently used for cosmetic reasons, but has also been found to help with some medical conditions. You can learn even more about how it works below.

The Risks of Botox Injections and Botulism 

Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid potential sources of the botulinum toxin. Botox injections are established as safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As of yet, there have been zero cases reported of Botox transfer from a mother to child.

With that said, Botox injections are made up of neurotoxins that, when given in large doses or to people who are allergic to these chemicals, can be dangerous.

Botulism, is the name of the infection or disease caused by botulinum toxins. Botulism is known to be life-threatening in some cases. The risk of dying from botulism is elevated for those with a compromised immune system, with gastrointestinal conditions, pregnant women and infants.

Some research has concluded that the botulinum toxins are too large to pass through the placenta from the mother to the unborn child during pregnancy. More research still need to be done before it is considered completely safe to have Botox injections during pregnancy. While it may turn out that Botox cannot pass from mother to child, pregnant and nursing women are advised to stay away from potential sources of the toxin. This includes Botox injections and certain foods.

Botox Side Effects

It’s vital to be aware of the following side effects of Botox, even though they don’t usually manifest, here  are some of them:

Spreading of Botox toxin

Despite its rarity, Botox Cosmetic has the potential to spread and cause major issues. If Botox Cosmetic is injected into regions of your body that are not advised or allowed by the FDA, the risk increases.

The toxin in Botox can spread throughout your body and result in symptoms like muscle paralysis or breathing difficulties, depending on where it travels. It’s also possible to develop botulism, a rare but deadly medical illness.

Heart issues

Botox can very rarely harm your heart. It may result in issues with cardiac rhythm or even heart attacks. If you already have cardiac issues, this may happen more frequently. Before getting Botox, make important to discuss any cardiac issues with your doctor.

Muscle or nerve issues

Because Botox injections can induce muscle weakening, persons who already have nerve or muscle-related issues — such as myasthenia gravis — should be vigilant. Botox might exacerbate your issue.

Responses at the injection site

The most frequent side effects of Botox Cosmetic are pain, bruising, and changes in the color of the skin at the injection site.

These reactions typically occur after an injection momentarily damages a blood vessel. Reactions at the injection site are more likely to appear soon after your therapy and should disappear on their own.

A less frequent injection-related side effect is a local bacterial infection. When the needle breaks the skin and travels into your muscle, it’s possible for bacteria to go in. Making sure the injection site is clean prior to each dose is the best method to avoid this. This should be taken care of as part of the normal preparation for the individual injecting your Botox.

Common sources of food-borne botulism are:

  • bottled garlic
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • cheeses and cheese sauces
  • corn syrup
  • fermented meats and fish
  • foil-wrapped baked potatoes
  • food kept warm for a long time
  • home-canned food
  • honey
  • oil infused with garlic
  • spicy peppers (chiles)
  • unrefrigerated food 

Infants should not be permitted to eat any of the food listed above as they are of particular risk of the effects of botulism.