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