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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 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!
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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!

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Natick, thx for the advice and response. You hit the nail on the head: vanity! But still.... I'm going to look into frotox, and also hope that eventually they'll come up with a better method of delivery for Botox type drugs. As I understand it, it may not be the Botox itself that causes a problem, but an auto immune rxn to the albumin ( probably of dead people) that causes the problem. I may have read that here. That seems to me to be something they could change.
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I'm glad someone posted about getting vertigo from Botox. I have been getting Botox once a year since 2007 and never had any issues. I have gotten it from four different places. The last three are from the newest one. I got the Botox on a thursday and it felt different this last time . She injected above my brows but out towards the ends near my temples. My eye sight felt off for the next two days . By the following Tuesday night I got extremely sick. Everything started spinning so I crawled up to my bed and tried to sleep. A couple hours later woke up and was so sick. I couldn't stand up. Crawled to the bathroom and could not stop vomiting. After two hours was rushed to the emergency room. They first gave me something for the nausea and then after they calmed that down they were able to give me meds for the vertigo. I told them that I had Botox but they didn't seemed to relate the two even though I felt it was. When I found all these posts I knew I wasn't imagining this. So thank you for sharing. It has been three weeks and I still have the ringing in my ears but the vertigo has subsided. It's weird that after getting Botox for almost 7 years with no reaction it just happend. I'm not sure if I will ever get it again. Scared now.. That was one of the worst experieces I have ever had.
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Danij118 - this is Spiral - I had extreme vertigo for one month after getting botox last march - i'd had botox before without a problem - this time i had gone to someone new, and also injected in new places - i dont know what exactly to blame (the substance, the amount, the location, the technique???) but the connection was unmistakable. i am completely healthy and just south of 40 years old. it completely scrambled my immune system that last time, and i too am terrified of doing it again (but vain enough to want to!) i saw many doctors afterward who stopped just shy of stating it was the botox, one told me to try dysport because most bad reactions happen with botox brand - it has many more proteins in it than dysport or something. i dont know. too scared to even think about it - instead focusing on the other facial agers - volume and discoloration and smoothness. let me know if you ever try again and if you try a different product! glad you are feeling better, and feel validated - WE ARE NOT IMAGINING THIS!
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No, we are not imagining this, the drs just won't acknowledge, like a child caught in a fib. It is like the vaccine debate. I have a friend who is a phD in the biology & science research field and is VERY pro-vaccine, but says, YES, some negative reactions can and will happen to SOME people, though a small percentage. Can you imaging your derm saying, I guess you are a person in the small percentage that has had a bad reaction to it. Or if right before you gave your baby a vaccine the pediatrician said, now, there is a SMALL chance your child might have a bad reaction to this. You would freak out! You would re-think it all, and you would tell others. So if you have come out of this with a month or two of a bad reaction and now you are all right, consider yourself lucky, and find other ways to make your skin look as nice as it can. I know it's hard, trust me, I went through this myself. I think many factors are at work with botox - your body creates antibodies after a while, or develops an allergic reaction. (My grandma washed her dishes with her bard hands for years until she got dermatitis, her dr said, you have developed an allergy to repeated exposure to dish soap, now you must wear gloves to wash the dishes. She wears the gloves, voila! No dermatitis!). The formula could be changing for profit's sake. Your derm could water it down, that happens, for profit. It could affect your immune system, for certain. To many unknowns. Will be interesting to see in the next decade if there is any backlash from long term botox use.
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Absolutely. The risks are so obvious it's insane we ever turned a blind eye to the huge page of fine print. I just never thought something ba would happen because "everyone" uses it! But I suspect there are many more suffering side effects in silence or being ignored - there ARE other ways to beautify yourself and get that little tweak 'high' - I still think it's fishy that we both had bad reactions in the same part of the state-wonder if there was a bad batch going around. But now maybe that's a stretch. Ill definitely post if I ever try again with another product but I hope I stay strong and don't cave--you are right about considering myself lucky, we've been warned...
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Forgot to mention: in my late 40's now.
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Natick and all, Your comments are very comforting to read. I have been getting botox for the last 8 years. For the first time, exactly five days after the injections, I got vertigo. That was two days ago, and it is slightly better now, but still very noticable. My ears a ringing too. I'm really hoping that it's the botox because it seems like, from what you and the others have said, that it will go away eventually. The reaction to the botox theory makes sense to me. The obvious downer is that after a treatment, I look better in the 11 area than I did when I was in my early 20's. Hopefully I'll have the better judgement to start leaving my face alone. The only consolation is that if I don't get that good judgement, I know there are surgical options where they can actually get rid of some of the muscle strands. Sounds crazy, I know, but at least it's a one shot deal.
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My vertigo did eventually go away, and my ear nose throat dr & husband made me swear never to get it again, so I did not. I did look SO MUCH BETTER with it, but the vertigo & nystagmus was so awful, I would rather be wrinkly. I could not function, take care of my kids, etc. Like I said, another well known & well respected derm here in Boston swore that Botox has never caused any problems, but read the ads in the magazines. Read the disclaimer in small tiny letters. Like my ENT said, there is no prescription med 100% safe for 100% of the population. Somebody, somewhere is going to have a reaction to it, at some point. And when that number of people is a low number, it is considered not worth reporting. My sis has gotten botox for a decade with no problem whatsoever, she looks great. I live in a botox crazy area of Boston, everyone gets it. It's a crap shoot. Most people are fine with it under the care of a good derm. I had a good derm for over 10 yrs, she was great at placement and not overdoing it. She just wasn't forthcoming when I became ill, and I never heard from her again. Not after attempts to just get some guidance or advice, or maybe she had seen patients deal with this side effect, and reassure me I would be fine. She never even made me pay the BILL, that was how much she did not want ANY contact with me on this. I am sure her attorney husband advised her as such. We had become friendly enough that I had been to her house to help her out with jobs that were MY area of expertise. We texted, we talked, etc. That was three years ago & I have still have not heard one single word from her. That says quite a bit, in my opinion.
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Hi Argh, I had Botox injections almost a year ago near Natick MA (I'm 33 with bad 11's issue) and I had many symptoms described in this comments. After exactly 4 days the injections (25 units ) I started to feel an odd dizziness , double vision, anxiety, and the panics attack started to happen over and over again, I assume that is because I'm afraid to experience the symptoms again. To be honest I LOVED the results and sometimes I catch myself dreaming about give Botox a second chance.But hear your doctor saying "you are just fine" "blood test is great, all tests is perfect you might have stress" What??? No,no...before the injections I was great and I'm 100% sure this is related to Botox. My self stem is so down and some days I don't want to even look at the mirror. I hopping to something coming up soon. Have you hear about 'FROTOX"?
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I only just looked up FROTOX since you mentioned it, hopefully it is a viable alternative to Botox! That would be AWESOME! I know that feeling that Botox gave you. It is why the ads are so well done - "you just don't GET IT until you GET IT!" It's so true! Let me sum up for everyone what it is you are getting. You are getting the attractive confidence you have NOW as an older, wiser, more interesting woman with a chance to be, shall we say, HOTTER, like a woman in her late 20's...it's a powerful combo that is hard to let go of. It's a risk. I won't. I will just have to be an interesting and not shabby for 44 year old woman. :)
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in the same boat natick - glad you have arrived at that position - i miss the botox, but actually, i actually think in a way i am more beautiful with natural expression...but ooooh the instant smoothness was nice. the spinning and the nystagmus was terrifying and exhausting and i will never do it again. save that money for a facelift! HAHAHHAA! not funny and kind of missing the point of self acceptance...anyway, it's been validating to hear all of your stories, i was totally freaked out and annoyed that nobody would acknowledge the very obvious causal relationship. thumbs up to all of you
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My doctor prescribed a low-dose steroid pack for me but I'm afraid to introduce anything new into my system. My main symptoms are vertigo, weakness and nausea. Do you think they helped?
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I am so sorry I didn't see this sooner, I too was given a steroid pack. I do think they helped. Are you better??
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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.
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Also, i have flown since the vertigo attack and it didnt cause a recurrence of the vertigo, which relieved me greatly!!
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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!
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Natick - i found your posts on the subject of botox related vertigo when i was googling. THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME - almost exactly the same story (minus the husband and the kids). i got botox in brookline, 4 days later i woke up with intense vertigo. it lasted about 1.5 months (interestingly the average length of time that botox had been visibly lasting on me) and then resolved. i am tempted (looks so good!) to botox my 11's again, but something in my heart and mind is linking the vertigo to the botox. i have never had vertigo before. but i got the botox, took a long distance flight where i didn't sleep or eat for 8 hours and was kind of run down, and i think my immune system went haywire. i have another friend in europe who had a similar experience (minus the flight). i think this is happening a lot more than is being discussed, and it's very scary. i want to let you know that i have flown several times since (i am 6 months since the vertigo nightmare month) with absolutely no vertigo recurrence whatsoever. since we are from the same part of the state, i can't help but wonder - was there a bad batch? i dont know, but i will tell you i believe you when you say the vertigo was caused by the botox. i have lived it, it was very scary (i thought i had MS! vertigo is no joke! it feels like one is going completely mad) and i hope that both you and i can stay resolved in our attempts to put the vanity aside and stay botox free....also i want to somehow put out an open questionnaire to somehow field query's or research if this is indeed widespread...doctors are full of shi$ when confronted about side effects of any med, partly because of $ and partly because of the way science minds work
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My Ear Nose Throat dr in Brookline made me promise I would never do botox again, and I made and kept that promise. He said he has see women like me who went through what I what through, what YOU went through, go years just fine, no botox, then tell themselves - I am going to try it again because it has been so long since that incident and I am sure it will be fine now. So they got the botox and BAM! The vertigo, the nausea, the nystagmus (inability to track properly with your eyes, I had it) but even worse this time around. I saw another derm in Brookline, one the 'the best' in Boston for other reasons and he suggested Botox. (my face really does looks 10 yrs younger with botox, it make sit look very nice) I explained what had happened before. He totally waved it all away, said he had never in his long career in the field ever heard of botox causing that issue and that it must be something else. I haven't had vertigo since that incident, I hope I never do. I had a terrible back problem that was so bad I could barely walk but I still would take that over the vertigo. You can't do anything with it! Drs can be so full of it, full of themselves, and unable to admit when they are wrong. When my then 10 yr old daughter started getting awful migraines and nothing seemed to help. Her drs (and there were a few) said she is a preteen it is stress just manage her stress. In other words - it is all in her head. Until finally I made such a stink that further testings were done - EEG's & MRI - only to find that in fact there WAS a physical reason for my girl's migraines and it WAS NOT jut all in her head. We have it under control now, she is 12 now and we manage it well, but there ya go, proof that drs do not know it all. Also, one of my best friends, while working on his phD in CO in 2000, became very ill, had a bulls eye rash (after hiking) all the classic Lyme symptoms after visiting his family out east. He got sicker &sicker until he could barely walk, eat, function. His drs wouldn't do the lyme test because "that's an east coast thing". Then he was told it was all in his head, stress from his graduate program. After a year of deterioration a nuero finally did a lyme test and of course it was positive. But it had been in him over a year. So he spent the next year lying on the couch taking a year off his phD program taking MEGA doses of antibiotics. It saved his life but he leads a very sickly, fragile existence of constant pain, neuro side effects, weakness. This was a man that climbed mountains, skied, ran, everything. Now - none of that. Because some stupid drs dismissed it and wouldn't run a simple test. Drs are not always on your side. Sometimes they just want to get paid.
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Natick - thank you so much for your response. I visited 'one of the best in the country' derm in Brookline too, for melasma, and he sold me on a zillion fraxel treatments that just made everything worse and cost me a pant load (i wonder if he was the same as your brookline doc - rhymes with clover?) ANYWAY, you are right about many things, most importantly, listening to your gut and following your instincts. which i'm trying to do - but ohhhhhh the botox - it does do wonders for me too!! i can't tell - did you do it again? is that what you are saying? i would love to, but i am terrified of the vertigo (yes with nystagmus - that was so scary!!) again - having something wrong with your head is terrifying (glad your daughter is doing better)...i suppose it's possible that my vertigo was caused by some mega stressful factors in my life...but i have been 'mega stressed' in the past and i dunno - i just feel for sure it was the botox. but i want to botox my 11's!!! but i am terrified...
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Yes I went to the same practice...but they were not the ones that gave me the Botox, that was from another top Boston Derm, one who I had been seeing since the 90's AND had become a personal friend. After the incident where I got sick she stopped returning my calls & emails, never ONCE responded to the situation. Even after reassuring her that I was not looking for any legal recourse or credit, just wanted some guidance as to what to do, or expect, or how long would it last? The only thing she did was never send me a bill for the procedure. That is when I switched over to the Brookline derms, I saw another derm, not the one you saw, but another derm in the practice that not only has been there forever & highly respected but had been social with for a couple of years outside the practice! he was the one who totally waved away the idea that the botox could have caused me any problems. I never did botox again and never will. I do use retin a in the winter for a month or so to help my skin refresh, I do use some light acid peels I have gotten off the net that seem to help smooth. But nothing changes the fact that I am 43. So I just try to work with what I have. Honestly, I feel a little silly for letting it cloud my head for those couple of years when I turned 40. There just comes an age where we aren't in our 20's, but we can still look good, right? To be fair - my vertigo started a few days after my botox shots BUT ALSO during a time when I had a stressful career altering meeting in NYC coming up, so any dr out there would say - maybe the vertigo was caused by the stress. But the nystagmus? I don't think you can attribute that to the stress! And I haven't had either since then. But it did take 4-6 weeks to clear. An awful, awful time for me. And my poor husband! Having to take care of me & our 2 small kids! When it was all over he was a bit angry & said I love you just the way you are I do not care if you have wrinkles, we cannot afford to have a mom & wife that cannot function because she was trying to smooth her wrinkles. That brought me around quick!
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I wish I would of read these post a few days ago. I had botox Monday - yes yesterday. I woke up last night at 3 in the morning with Vertigo. I am not stressed. Life is good. I cannot believe this happened. My derm also told me I had nothing to worry about. I called her today and she said it had Nothing to do with the botox and that I needed to call my doctor. I am pissed. Mainly because she blew me off and acted like it was my problem and that I wasen't important. I too have been going to her for about 3 years so I was very surprised about her reaction. I am sure that it was the Botox and I hope that it does not get worse but I have a feeling it may.... Can you ladies tell me how many units you had? I am curious? Thanks Tish.

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Hi TISH22 I had Botox injections almost a year ago near NATICK MA area and I had many symptoms described in this forum. After exactly 4 days the injections (25 units forehead) in the morning I woke up with vertigo and (I forgot to mention in the other post) difficult to breath. My husband tried everything to calm me down but things couldn't get better, I called my Physichian and she did some tests and everything was fine. I called to the office that Botox was injected but everybody claims that isn't related to Botox.But the worse symptoms that I still have is the panics attack . To be honest I LOVED the results, but experience those symptoms and hear your doctor saying "you are just fine" "blood test is great, insuline is ok... you might have stress" What??? No,no...before the injections I was great and after I couldn't ever workout... I decided to not put myself in risk anymore... But to be honest sometimes I catch myself thinking about give Botox a second chance. I'm glad I found this forum.
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