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Severe Reaction to Botox

Botulinum toxin is a protein produced by the...

Botulinum toxin is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and is the most powerful neurotoxin ever discovered. I am a healthy, active 42 year old RN. I had botox and a filler last year. This was the third time I had received Botox and the second time I'd had the filler. Two days after getting the injections I started feeling like I was getting a virus. (I knew within a day that it was also a sinus infection). My symptoms progressively got worse. By the seventh day my heart rate would increase and I was short of breath with any activity. My nose had profuse clear drainage that wouldn't stop. (I have never had that before with any sinus infection). By that evening I had a fever of 104 degrees and a rash on my entire body except my arms. I get sinus infections 1-2 times a year. I haven’t had a fever in 12 years with ANY infection.

When I got the thought that I needed to rub my head on the floor to feel better, I knew right away that I was being affected neurologically and went to the ER. The ER doctor scolded me for not coming in sooner. The ER staff thought I had been to a tanning bed, I was bright red (except my arms) and my face and neck were swollen. The diarrhea started while I was in the ER (but I already had a fast HR for those medical people that want to say it was dehydration that caused it) and lasted for two straight days. I was admitted to an intermediate (IMCU) heart monitored unit. I was tachycardic and hypotensive. (A fast heart rate and low blood pressure).

I was given IV fluids and IV antibiotics. I was tested for everything under the sun, ie the flu and blood cultures drawn and seen by an infectious disease specialist. I was positive for strep (I may be a carrier as I have a strong family history), I had no sore throat and had a sinus infection (confirmed by an MRI in the hospital). This was not a typical sinus infection, I never get a fever and clear profuse drainage is never a symptom.

They asked me if it was the flu in the ER and I knew it wasn’t. I have had the flu before, this was much much worse. I was discharged after receiving antibiotics and steroids with no one knowing what was wrong with me. I was in the hospital for two days (the admitting doctor wanted me to stay three). Besides the strep, all of my tests were negative, including the flu. The disease specialist ruled out strep as the cause of what was happening to me. My symptoms, especially the rash, fit no standard profile. I have never been sicker in my entire life and I have had the flu before.

As far as your immune system goes, it is not uncommon for your body to need repeated exposures to something before it rejects it. Here is what I found with a quick internet search regarding Immunity: The immune system has a ‘Memory’, defined as: –The immune system will respond to repeated exposure with the antigens of a microbe in a progressively stronger fashion. The first exposure produces a relatively low keyed primary response. The next exposure produces a more powerful and longer lasting attack against the microbe. People think that if they have had it once and had no reaction then the subsequent administration couldn’t be the cause and that is definitely not the case.

I understand both sides of the coin as far as jumping to conclusions as to the cause of certain symptoms but, I also see the motivation of medical providers and the company that makes it, to resist that side effects could be related to the very profitable botox. When a physician posts a reply about how the symptoms may be unrelated possibly a result of hypochondria, yet doesn’t acknowledge that the actual documented side effects from the botox literature are similar, yet assumes the symptoms are unrelated, that I have a hard time with.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that botox caused this. I think this is going to become more and more common as people’s immune systems reject the botulism after repeated injections. So, although we are being told that botox has been found to be relatively safe, I find it unfortunate that the denial that people are in fact having issues, is going prevent patients from getting the appropriate care they need. I also think people are not going to be appropriately warned before they do it. We are being told that this procedure is very safe and with little risk and I would question that stance. I do plan on seeing if my allergist can do a botulism skin test to confirm this and everyone who suspects this needs to contact the FDA and the company.

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Comments (1)

Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a scary experience to go through. How are you doing now?

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