This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:


reputable news agency


Counterfeit Botox found in California: How to spot fake products and report them

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Counterfeit versions of Botox have been found in multiple states, including California, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The health agency is warning consumers and to be wary of the , which have caused "hospitalizations and other serious reactions in people who received injections in non-medical, unlicensed settings."

"Counterfeit or incorrectly administered Botox, even in small amounts, can result in serious health problems and even death," Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, department of public health director and state , said in a Wednesday news release.

According to the public health department, there are no current links between the and authentic Botox, which is manufactured by AbbVie and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The drug is used to smooth out wrinkles and treat muscle-related conditions such as chronic migraines, overactive bladders and eyelid spasms.

FDA-approved Botox is "considered safe and effective" when used as intended, the release said.

What does counterfeit Botox look like?

Here's how to spot counterfeit Botox, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The box or outer packaging:

  • Displays the as "Botulinum Toxin Type A" instead of "OnabotulinumtoxinA"
  • Indicates 150-unit doses
  • Contains lot number C3709C3
  • Includes language other than English

The vial inside:

  • Indicates 150-unit doses
  • Contain lot number C3709C3

What are the symptoms of fake Botox use?

Symptoms caused by counterfeit Botox are similar to those caused by botulism poisoning.

They can include drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, fatigue and generalized weakness, according to the California Department of Public Health.

If you have any symptoms of botulism poisoning, you should "contact a professional or go to the immediately," the agency said.

Who can administer Botox?

If you're considering getting Botox, the public health department says you should seek treatment at an authorized source.

"Consumers should only get injections of FDA-approved Botox from licensed and trained professionals in health care settings. Botox should never be purchased online or through unlicensed individuals," Aragón said in the release.

The California Medical Board allows for Botox to be administered by a physician, a or a physician assistant under a physician's supervision.

When in doubt, "Ask your health care professional if they are licensed and trained to administer Botox," the health agency said.

What should I do if I spot counterfeit Botox?

If you come across counterfeit Botox or suspect it's being used, you can report it on the FDA's website or by calling 800-551-3989.

Fake Botox products can also be reported via the California Department of Public Health's Consumer Complaints website.

Health care professionals can report counterfeit Botox products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

2024 The Sacramento Bee. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Counterfeit Botox found in California: How to spot fake products and report them (2024, May 9) retrieved 21 June 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

US health officials warn of counterfeit Botox injections


Feedback to editors