Botox injections are relatively safe when performed by an experienced doctor. The most common side effects include swelling or bruising at the injection site, headache or flu-like symptoms. If the injections aren't placed correctly, the medication may spread into adjacent tissues and cause problems such as:
- Eyelid droop
- Cockeyed eyebrows
- Crooked smile
- Dry eye or excessive tearing
Although very unlikely, there is a possibility that the effect of botulinum toxin may spread to other parts of the body and cause botulism-like signs and symptoms. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these effects hours to weeks after receiving Botox:
- Muscle weakness all over the body
- Vision problems
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of bladder control
Doctors generally recommend against using Botox when you're pregnant or breast-feeding, since the effects on the baby aren't known.
Select your doctor carefully
Botox must be used only under a doctor's care. It can be dangerous if it's administered incorrectly. Ask for a referral from your primary care doctor or look for a doctor who specializes in your condition and who has experience in administering Botox treatments. A skilled and properly certified doctor can advise you on the procedure and can help determine if it best suits your needs and health.
Feb. 06, 2013
- Carruthers J, et al. Overview of botulinum toxin for cosmetic injections. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 14, 2012.
- Botox medication guide. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM176360.pdf. Accessed Dec. 14, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Botulinum toxin. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- OnabotulinumtoxinA (botulinum toxin type A, Botox): Drug information. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Dec. 14, 2012.
- FDA approves Botox to treat overactive bladder. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm336101.htm. Jan. 18, 2013.
- OnabotulinumtoxinA (marketed as Botox/Botox Cosmetic), AbobotulinumtoxinA (marketed as Dysport) and RimabotulinumtoxinB (marketed as Myobloc) information. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA boxed warning alert: August 2009. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/ucm174949.htm. Accessed Dec. 17, 2012.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Botulinum toxin treatment. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Managing pain for your child's Botox injection. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2013.