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Warning on danger of botox

22nd November 2006

19092006_botox1.jpgPeople in the UK may be at risk from back street botox treatments that could provide potentially fatal doses of the toxin.

The warning comes as the Journal of the American Medical Association reports four cases in the US of patients being given treatment using a toxin intended for laboratory use, which were up to 43 times higher than the estimated lethal dose.

In the UK, an expert working group submitted a report to the government in January last year calling for powers to regulate the cosmetic treatment industry, including who should be able to give botox treatments.

But the government has yet to decide if these recommendations will be accepted.

Botulism is a rare paralytic illness caused by the botulinum toxins. Left untreated, it may result in respiratory failure and death.

In the US four cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The patients were found to have been injected with a highly concentrated, unlicensed preparation of botulinum toxin A.

All suffered worsening problems with facial movement and swallowing. Two also experienced shortness of breath. Only prompt hospital treatment prevented their deaths.

The doctor involved in the case was prosecuted and sentenced to three years in prison.

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Article Information

Title: Warning on danger of botox
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1216
Date Added: 22nd Nov 2006

Sources

BBC News
The Guardian

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