Can I Get Imported Botox Cosmetic for a Lower Cost?

My friend’s doctor offers really cheap Botox. He says it comes from Mexico and it is real Botox, just lower price because it comes from Mexico. Is he for real?

Doctor Answers 9

Using imported BOTOX Cosmetic

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If, after being evaluated by a physician, you decide to receive an injection of BOTOX Cosmetic, be sure it is performed by a qualified healthcare professional who uses authentic BOTOX Cosmetic manufactured by Allergan. You can ask to see the bottle which will have the BOTOX Cosmetic logo, serial number, and expiration date on it.

Being injected with medication in the United States which is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is potentially dangerous and illegal. It is your health - the most valuable asset you possess. Do not place it at risk in an attempt to save a few dollars.

Imported Botox Cosmetic is not FDA-approved

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Only Botox from Allergan, Inc. is approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for use to treat glabellar wrinkles in the United States. This also permits doctors to use the injectable for "off label uses" such as the crow's foot area. Use of non-FDA approved substances is illegal and history has shown that it can also be dangerous.

Roger A. Dailey, MD, FACS
Portland Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Cheap Botox not worth the risk

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There are a number of illegitimate facilities purchasing botox from Mexico or Canada.  However, the savings is not worth the increased risk.  In the United States, only Botox from Allergan is FDA approved.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Cheap Botox is no bargain

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You have to be really careful shopping price on Botox. Some injectors will use less units therefore charge less but the results don't last near as long. I always tell patients that the with Botox you get what you pay for. Make sure your injector has experience and that you are getting an appropriate dose of the real thing.

Patricia Farris, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

You get what you pay for with Botox

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I would be very careful shopping by price for a cosmetic treatment that affects how you look but especially if you know that the product you are using may not be authentic Botox Cosmetic by Allergan.

There have been cases of Botox being imported from Mexico and South American which have actually come from China (called "dirty Botox" because it is different than Botox and not pure toxin) or from labs producing very concentrated botulinum toxin, intended only for research purposes, and selling it to physicians in place of Botox. The physicians are usually not even aware they have a dangerous or impure product. Significant side effects and even deaths have occurred in some cases.

If a physician is willing to take risks with your health by using imported "Botox" from outside the country just to save a few bucks, not knowing 100% that it is actual Botox Cosmetic from Allergan (or Dysport from Medicis), he is probably not a very ethical physician and I would suggest you find another physician for your treatment.

Please don't shop by price. You get what you pay for...and sometimes more than what you pay for, but would never want!

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

Cheaper BOTOX

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Everyone wants things cheaper. The only problem I see in my practice is that people who go for the cheapest treatments get the shortest results and the most side effects, in the end their "cheap" treatment costing them much more. I recommend you get a specialist like a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to inject you with authentic BOTOX and fillers from the U.S. not only because they are extensively tested in many aspects, but also because it is often illegal to inject things from other countries. One would wonder about the ethics of a physician or anyone for that matter offering or willing to use untested and illegal products.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Botox from Mexico

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We know of several facilities in our area that use imported Botox. While there may be no difference in the quality of Botox, it has had to travel a much further route in making it to your friend's office than if it were to come through the normal channel, and therefore may be subject to quality control issues. In addition, as other practitioners have pointed out, it is illegal for a physician to import Botox from another country.

Botox is a drug that is very closely controlled from the time it is manufactured to the time it is delivered, especially because there are very temperature sensitive storage issues. If you are being injected with Botox from a foreign country, there is always a chance that it has not been subject to the same quality control measures on it's journey to the office and therefore may be compromised.

Our final question to you would be -- If your physician is willing to cut corners like this with your care, what other corners do you think they might cut? It brings into question the trust that needs to be present in a healthy patient/practitioner relationship.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Treating patients with imported Botox Cosmetic

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1. The importation of drugs from other countries for use in OTHERS is illegal. A doctor can be arrested for injecting or giving anyone a drug he/she received from abroad (regardless if he brought it in OR the patient brought it to the office to be used on her). Son - the answer to your question - your doctor is committing a Federal felony.

2. HOW do you know or how does he know the bottle he is injecting you with actually contains Botox? The world market is FULL of fake medications including Lipitor, Viagra, Cialis and - yes- Botox. When you buy outside the verifiable supply chain you do not know what you are getting.

3. Even if the "Mexican" Botox happens to be REAL Botox, how do you know it is active Botox? You never will. Botox is extremely sensitive to heat and shaking. When transporting Botox it needs to be kept frozen at all times or it will be deactivated, Same with the way it is mixed from powder to the liquid form that gets loaded in syringes. If the Botox was mishandled, it will NOT work.


Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Isn't importing Botox illegal?

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As far as I know, it's illegal to import prescription medications into the United States for commercial use. I think it's okay for personal use which is why you can buy medicines from Canada but I'm not an expert on the import regulations.

If your doctor is willing to break the law to save money, you might also consider what other lines he or she is willing to cross. Safety? Sterility? Expiration Dates? Storage limitations (Botox has to be kept frozen until reconstituted). While it might be the real deal and a great bargain, it is not unheard of to have forfeited medications shipped in place of the real thing.

My patients that are more cost conscious choose to see my P.A. whom I trained and has been injecting Botox for 10 years. She charges about 30% less than my fee.

Jonathan Hoenig, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon

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.