Botox Groupon Spurs FDA Warning for Contraband Injections
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (November 27, 2012) Botox and filler injections rank as the top non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the nation and the demand for Botox and fillers has triggered a rise in illegal injectables being imported to the United States. In Arizona, dozens of injection facilities have come into question after discounted Botox popped up on deal sites like Groupon and Living Social.
BOTOX ON GROUPON?
The FDA has issued an ongoing alert for unlicensed Botox that is shipped in from other countries. Captain Domenic Veneziano, the FDA’s Director of Import Operations said. “We don’t want potentially dangerous products to get in the hands and be used by the American people.”
Dr. Daniel Shapiro, FACS of Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic believes the problem is happening in Phoenix. “This is concerning information,” he said. “While Botox and fillers are a safe treatments for address wrinkles and fine lines, they must be stored and administered correctly by an experienced professional under a doctor’s supervision,” he said. “If you go to a facility that wants to use ‘discounted’ product on you, you have to ask yourself what is being compromised there.”
Fortunately, there are key clues to help you know whether or not the injections are legitimate.
First, look to see if the word ‘cosmetic’ is missing from the box. Legitimate Botox containers always contain the word ‘cosmetic,’ according to Allergan, the manufacturer. Allergan states, “Only Allergan’s product is called Botox Cosmetic. Boxes and vials missing the ‘cosmetic’ label may be real Botox, but its not approved for cosmetic use in the United States.” Currently, the FDA says, “Only Allergan’s Juvederm Ultra and Ultra Plus XC with lidocaine are approved for use in the United States.”
Next, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Dr. Shapiro said. “People have been inundated with so-called special offers from med-spa clinics, Groupon, Facebook Offers and other coupons and promotions that seem offer a discount for injections,” he said. “It’s crucial to do your homework and check out the facility, the person injecting you, and the product they intend to inject you with before agreeing to be injected with ‘discounted’ product,” he said.
Finally, never agree to be injected anywhere but a doctors office. “There is significant risk involved if you ever agree to be injected anywhere other than a doctors office,” Dr. Shapiro said, “Home Botox parties have been popular in recent years, but they are highly unregulated. You don’t know where the product is coming from, how it has been stored, and whether or not the injector will not know the proper steps to take in case of an emergency or complication,” he said.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself. The FDA’s website contains a list of approved fillers. Botox manufacturer Allergan posts pictures and a list of legitimate providers on its site. Allergan, the makers of Botox Cosmetic and Juvederm, lists those physicians that buy directly from them in their physician locator sites that can be found on www.BOTOXCosmetic.com . Here is a link to the FDA’s approved list of wrinkle filler: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/CosmeticDevices/WrinkleFillers/ucm227749.htm
via: Shapiro Plastic Surgery and Skin Klinic