Saturday, February 09, 2008

No Mom, no one has died from me giving them BOTOX.

Talk about the "Law of Unintended Consequence", the Drudge Report , highlighting a newswire link about the FDA looking at BOTOX-related deaths, has stirred up a bit of anxiety about one of the world's most popular cosmetic medicines. I've gotten a few patient emails over the last week asking about this. It even generated a phone call from my mother asking "Did you hear the FDA banned Botox?"

The newswire blub (here) doesn't really make clear what is being talked about with the "BOTOX deaths". The fatalities associated with have NOT been associated with cosmetic uses for wrinkles. The handful of deaths has mostly been in people being treated with high doses (MUCH in excess of cosmetic doses) for esophageal motility disorders and for spastic contractures in children with cerebral palsy.

Your esophagus is essentially a muscular tube, and botox has been used to relax overactive or chronically contracted muscle. A consequence of this is that you can facilitate aspiration of secretions into the lungs and cause acute repiratory distress. Like I mentioned before re. Donde West's death (see here) after cosmetic surgery, this type of aspiration was what I think was the reason she died suddenly.



Ana Wilson said...

Hey doc, hi there. I'm Ana Wilson. I blog about plastic surgery as well. I added your link on my blogroll and I'd like to reqest you to put my link on yours. If you want to do this favour to me it's "Ana Wilson's Plastic Surgery Photos blog" and the link is you can check your link on my blog.

Colin Stewart said...

Hi --

I just spotted your good post on the Botox worries. I made much the same point in coverage I handled:

Will you be blogging about the latest (less sensational) news from Korea? If so, I'd be happy to link to what you have to say.

News of the Korean FDA's report is here:

All the best,

Colin Stewart
Marketplace Department
Orange County Register
625 North Grand Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4347