At least 19 women in nine states have fallen ill after receiving Botox injections

Nine (60%) of the people were hospitalized and four (21%) were treated with botulinum antitoxin.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said they are investigating several reports of harmful reactions among people who received injections of counterfeit or mishandled botulinum toxin (commonly called “Botox”). As of April 12, 2024, a total of 19 people from nine states had reported harmful reactions after receiving botulinum toxin injections from unlicensed or untrained people or in non-healthcare settings, such as homes and spas.

As explained by the CDC, the states that reported these reactions were Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Washington. The agency explained that regulatory and public health officials have discovered that some people received injections with counterfeit products or products from unverified sources. It maintained that investigations are being carried out on the sources of these products.

Nine people hospitalized

"Nine (60%) people were hospitalized and 4 (21%) were treated with botulism antitoxin because of concerns that the botulinum toxin could have spread beyond the injection site. Five people were tested for botulism and their results were all negative," the CDC said.

Likewise, the agency detailed that all reports came from women, aged between 25 and 59 years, with an average age of 39 years. Eighteen (95%) people reported receiving botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes. All people reported receiving these injections from unlicensed or untrained people or in non-healthcare settings.

Finally, the CDC asked people who are considering the treatment to discuss it with a specialist. Additionally, they stressed that people should consult a healthcare provider or go to the emergency room immediately if they develop any symptoms of botulism, including: blurred or double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, or muscle weakness.

In the meantime, healthcare providers should encourage "patients to receive injections only from licensed providers who are trained in proper administration of FDA-approved botulinum toxin, preferably in a licensed or accredited healthcare setting."