Is Botox Safe for Those Who Had Botulism?

I had a severe case of botulism when i was 31 and nearly died from it. Im 41 now and not liking my crows feet. I was considering having botox done, and just found out recently botox is made from botulism. Would this be safe for me to do even though i had botulism 10 years ago?

Doctor Answers 5

Is Botox safe for those who have had Botulism?

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This is a great question.  I am not aware of any studies that have looked at the safety of using Botox in patients that have previously had Botulism.  Given that the dose of Botox that is used for cosmetic purposes is very tiny and that it is placed to a discrete area, I would think that it would be safe to use in your case.  I believe you would probably find some physicians that would not treat you and some that would.  

San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Botox safety

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Botox is a purified protein which injected at very low doses for cosmetic use  has been for over 20 years has never produced botulism. At high inappropriate and potentially illegal doses, never used in a cosmetic setting, you could theoretically develop botulism. In your case, I would not worry about treatment with low dose cosmetic Botox by an experienced and trained injector. Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Is Botox Safe for Those Who Have Had Botulism?

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This is a very interesting, and thankfully, infrequent question. Botox is a purified toxin from the botulism bacteria. With cosmetic injections, very small doses are used. These should be safe but if your injector is concerned they could always perform a small "patch test." I would be curious to know if you had developed and maintained antibodies after your illness. These could potentially diminish your response to Botox and related neuromodulators. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

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Botox is Safe

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Cosmetic doses of botox are extremely safe. The doses are small and typically do not travel more than a centimeter and a half from the point of injection. The medicine is not systemically absorbed. You will not develop botulism from it whether you have had botulism in the past or not.

Is Botox safe if you had Botulism in the past?

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Botox is derived from Botulinum toxin type A. Following Botox treatment, the injections stay localized to the area they are administered, and will not spread anywhere in the body. The fact that you had botulism in the past should not put you at any additional risk for having Botox injections performed. Botox works fantastic for the crow's feet, and I think you would be really happy with the result. I would recommend having an experienced physician perform the injections, as this will ensure you obtain the best possible result. I hope this helps, and good luck!

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.