Botox Side Effects - Vertigo - Boston, MA

I had botox from sept 2008 - sept 2009 with...

I had botox from sept 2008 - sept 2009 with wonderful results & no side effects. I was getting it for free in exchange for outside work I was doing for my derm, who I have been seeing happily for years for other non cosmetic issues.

I got it again 3 weeks ago because I had a very important job interview. I got it on a Tuesday on on Saturday I woke up so ill with nausea & vertigo I ended up in the ER after my husband called 911. I had gotten dehydrated and couldn't stand up. My poor kids! And I was in such a panic because i had a serious career opportunity opening up to me and I couldn't afford to miss the interview. (Luckily, I got better enough to do well at the meeting)I had to see an ear nose throat specialist a week later who told me I had probably developed some antibodies to the Botox during the year I had taken off from it, and my immune system went into overdrive (my blood work from the ER showed an elevated white blood cell count) and caused the vertigo. He said he has seen it before. Said it can even cause Bell's Palsy in your face (where one side is paralyzed & droopy.)

I am better but not 100%, after 3 weeks of anti-virals and 8 days of steroids. My eyesight is still not tracking correctly, either. I look so much better with Botox, but I will never ever again in my lifetime get any more, or any other injectable, for that matter. It is not worth it. For a smooth forehead! Why was I so silly? My husband loves me the same with wrinkles, so do my kids.


I also want to put this two cents in...when i got botox at 38, i seriously couldnt believe how great i looked. I really did look more like 29. It was very natural looking. And it was great getting that attention again. It messes up your judgement, a bit. I got sucked into the idea that my value is tied to my looks. My kids didnt care about my wrinkles and neither did my husband. He never wanted me to do it anyway. My derm is skilled but didnt warn me that SOME people do in fact have reactions. No pharmacy grade medicine out there is 100% safe for all populations. Esp something like botox. It is a conflict of interest for someone about to earn $500 to$1000 for a few needle pricks to stop and say by the way, you MIGHT have a reaction, SOME people respond poorly to this product, SOME people do NOT look better after using it, but MOST people are ok. Then you could sign a waiver saying, yes i have verbally been warned. And for doctors to collectively wave away patients complaints who do have reactions as 'all in their heads' is a scam many docs use to make you GO AWAY. My mom had a xray in 1990 where they shot dye into her to get a better look at her spine after a minor car accident and she had a terrible reaction, she suffers from fybromyalgia, a burning sensation all over her body, vertigo, etc etc. Was declared leaglly disabled in 1993. But all the docs involved siad 'its just in your head'. NOW on the forms before tests like this it specifically asks 'have you or a family member ever had an allergic reaction to dyes used in these tests' i know because i had an MRI recently where they might have needed to use dye. In 5 to 10 yrs i bet botox will be the same, we will see more docs have to be more open about possible side effects. Our immune systems are compromised by chemicals, stress and other factors. You never know if you will react badly, so stop and think, do i really want to do this? My sister has used botox and fillers on and off for 12 yrs with no problems at all, it is just a crap shoot.
  • Reply
Also, i have flown since the vertigo attack and it didnt cause a recurrence of the vertigo, which relieved me greatly!!
  • Reply
So now it is a few months later and while i am mostly better, i still have moments where when i am sleeping at night and i turn over, everything starts spinning. It only last briefly but still, it causes anxiety, i star worrying that i will have a full blown attack of vertigo. Whats weird is that my derm let me owe her the money, and i emailed her after the first attack of vertigo last fall, remember, i have had a good history with her for years, and my previous botox experience with her was positive. She never asked me for the $700 i owed. I emailed her three more times trying to pay her but she never responded. I hope to be back to normal someday. I wish i had never done it. My ear nose throat specialist told me i can nevet do any injectables ever again because my body could have an auto immune response to it, and the outcome could be worse. I will never do it again. My doc also told me about a woman who had a similar response, swore off botox, then a few years later decided, well, its been so long, it will be ok, got it again, with disastorous results. Constant vertigo, nausea, anxiety, and now she takes meds to just deal with getting through the day. You just never know. It so not worth what i went through. I almost didnt make it to a job interview that i had been waiting for forever, but i managed, and got the job. Good luck!
  • Reply

I have started using Frownies for my '11's, the...

I have started using Frownies for my '11's, the little sticky glue pads that you wear overnight. I had deep 11 lines for years, had botox for a year then stopped. When the botox wore off, my muscles had atrophied somewhat, really softening the severity of them. I look at pics of me at 36 and i look better at 39 after botox had worn off. If you read my reviews, another dose of botox a yr later left me ill with an allergic reaction. Im mostly all better, and will never ever do botox again. My 11's look better after my home TCA and glycolic lunchtime peels (from MUAC, good stuff) but i am also trying Frownies. Even after 1night i see an improvement. Will update as i continue to use...the results are cumulative, which means you need to use it for 2-4 weeks to see the full effect. I got them at bed bath and beyond, normally $15.99 but with a $5 off any$15 purchase they came out to $11. A bargain!


This is Argh... I wanted to give an update. It's been about two months now, and the dizziness is almost entirely gone. It has pretty steadily decreased from about what I'd say is an 8 out of 10 (I could walk but was freaked out that I would fall) to almost no more dizziness. My ears are still ringing though. I thought of something since I first posted: I'm a guy (hope that's ok for this forum) and I had also been taking cialis. I don't tell anyone about the cialis, but thought I should on here since I wondered if that was the cause of the dizziness or part of it too. My P.A. (of course the doctor could not come to the phone) said there's no way it was from the cialis, and that the warning on the label is just a formality, and that I must have had a sinus infection. He really annoyed me because I could tell he really wasn't familiar with the side effect or the mechanism of it, even though it is written on the bottle. So, I'm extra perplexed. I've taken very small doses of cialis since then, and it doesn't seem to cause it. Although, it does make my nose run, so who knows? Back to the botox- this is the first time in 9 years that I've experienced vertigo with it. I have also once had a panic attack about a day or two after I got botox. I think it was because my heart was racing, and that scared me, and it snowballed. It went away within a day. I don't otherwise get panic attacks. I'd normamally be due for another botox treatment in about February, and I don't know if i'm going to or not. It's definitely about a 10 - 15 year difference in the way I look, but it's not worth the dizziness or the ringing in the ears.
  • Reply
I believe you should always disclose every single pharmaceutical med you are taking whenever you are about to add another one to the bunch. That way if you had a more catastrophic reaction & you wanted to, say, get a lawyer involved, the derm could easily go over your current meds list (I noticed over the past 2 yrs no matter what dr I saw for any issue, they all had a single cohesive list of past & present meds for me to review & revise if I needed to) and claim that you did NOT disclose the Cialis. (It must be a new system designed to keep some from trying to score drugs from different drs). If you found on a side effect list that Cialis could cause some of the side effects you are having now that you did NOT have before that med, probably they are caused by that med. I would love to have another shot at Botox, it really did make all the difference, but the hell I went through & put my family through for my vanity...not worth it. My ear nose throat dr who treated me in the aftermath said he has treated patients with bad side effects from Botox that have NEVER resolved. Can you imagine living your life like that? I know one woman who was struck with irreversible vertigo at age 50, a healthy, vibrant woman who loved spending her time on her horse and boating. Her vertigo has no rhyme or reason, not from any med, they cannot find a reason. But she had to give up her horse, boating, driving. She just sits very still to keep the room from spinning and cross stitches to pass the time. That to me sounds like a level of h*ll! I would rather be wrinkly. I will say this though - I had deep forehead furrows and 11's in my 30's until I got the botox for ONE year, then the 1 bad incident. That one yr of Botox, once it faded away, made those 11's and deep furrows much much less so, even when I look at pics from when I was 36. So do not think that as soon as you stop you will get a wrinkly forehead right away, It was a couple of years before they came back and even then, not as bad. So if you have been doing it for years, I bet you will be just fine. And I am reading about this new FROTOX thing, maybe that will be a viable alternative.
Also, I have had ringing in my ears since I worked all through college at a dance club slinging drinks, very very loud music for too many hours. Sucks but I am used to it - plus I use a white noise machine at night to cover it so I can sleep.

My derm is very experienced and has done great things for my skin, this was not her fault. People should be informed about the side effects of Botox and not believe it is 100% safe. Hardly anything like that is!

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful