Botox - Is It Really Safe?


There is an old story about a town of people who were running for their lives from an approaching asteroid. They ran to the edge of town and were confronted with a cliff and a long drop. Seeing the asteroid behind them, they all jumped off the cliff. On the way down, one person shouted out, "Do you think we're going to survive the fall?"

Such is the case with people and less extreme circumstances, such as when they look in the mirror and see they have wrinkles on their forehead, crows feet and heaven knows what else. They scream in horror saying, "My God! Where is my Botox?" and they head straight for the doctor. Then, after getting the injection, they ask the doctor, "Um, doc, is this stuff safe?"

The truth is, up to the present, nobody has proven that Botox is harmful in any way. But one has to ask oneself a few questions and compare the situation to other things in medical history that at first appeared to be perfectly safe and then turned out to be total disasters, resulting in massive lawsuits. To illustrate an example of this one needs to go no further than Vioxx. The lawyers are having a field day with that one.

Given that Botox is made from botulism, albeit a purified form, one has to wonder just how safe this stuff really is, especially if taken for a long period of time. To start our suspicions we need go no further than some studies that were done on doctors who perform such procedures as Botox injections.

Research shows that many doctors fail to take a person's medical history before even administering these injections. That is something that should be standard procedure. Then there are the so called "lunch time treatments" where patients just pop by a doctors office for an injection with no appointment, much like getting an allergy shot. Currently there are attempts to make tighter restrictions on these pop in treatments.

Then there are those reports of actual botched treatments where the doctor injected the wrong area of the patient in spite of the fact that it was clearly indicated in the patient's chart which areas were to be injected for that particular visit.

While none of this actually proves that Botox itself is dangerous, it does tend to make a person wonder. If treatments involving Botox are so lax and regulations are so weak or non existent, then certainly there is too much room for abuse by money-hungry doctors who have no concern for their patients' well being. The simple answer of "It's perfectly safe" just doesn't wash with all that is going on and reported everyday.

The only thing we do know for certain about Botox is that it can cause side effects such as bruising, headaches, double vision or temporary drooping of the eyebrow or lid. Also, it can leave the face without expression. And the medical profession has admitted that if more than 2000 units are injected it can be toxic. A normal session is about 50 units.

Well, at least it's a start. Now the world just sits and waits for the other shoe to drop just like with Vioxx.

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