Does Botox Cause Birth Defects?

I ran across a story today from australia that said botox is believed to be responsible for birth defects.  have you read this? do you think it's something to be worried about? concerned!

Editor note: We believe this is the article referred to in this question

Doctor Answers 7

Botox injection

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There are no studies on the relationship between Botox and pregnant women.  Knowing that you should not take the chance to get Botox if you think you are pregnant, are pregnant, breast feeding or trying to concieve.  

Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Botox and birth defects

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I know of no data that suggests a causal relationship of botox and birth defects.  But, I would not recommend using it if your are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant.

No data to suggest that Botox can cause birth Defects

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There is no data to suggest that Botox has been shown (or even suspected of) causing birth defects. With that said, it is our policy not to inject Botox during pregnancy or lactation. For us, this is simply a cautionary procedure taken for all injectable and laser treatments.

Botox has been shown to have a better safety profile than the common aspirin.

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

There is no causal relationship, but why take chances?

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Dear Concerned,

There is no established causal relationship between Botox Cosmetic and birth defects. However, why take chances? If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, then refrain from Botox during that time. However, if you recently had Botox and then find out that you are pregnant, there really is no cause for concern. Additionally, there is no evidence that previous Botox would have any effect on future pregnancies.

One case does not make it so but who wants any risks?

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BOTOX has an amazing track record for safety. However, its safety during human pregnancy is not something we are likely to ever have a definitive answer for. Animal studies do not support a conclusion that it causes birth defects. If you had BOTOX and two weeks later discovered that you were pregnant at the time of the treatment, there is absolutely no evidence that this will make any difference to your pregnancy. However we strongly advise against having cosmetic service including BOTOX if you are actively attempting to become pregnant or are pregnant. Again one case in millions of BOTOX treatment does not mean one caused the other. The incidence of birth defects from all causes is actually much higher than that. However, no responsible physician would be interested in treating a pregnant woman with BOTOX. It might be safe but who needs any additional risks. Sure, we are happy to talk to you about future services or surgery but wait until you are through your pregnancy and are done breast feeding.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Does Botox Cause Birth Defects?

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Hi Concerned,

There have not been any studies showing that Botox is responsible for birth defects. The Australian article is about a single unfortunate case of a child being born deaf and blind. Its mother had received Dysport injections (a form of Botox) during her first month of pregnancy.

With the millions of women who have received Botox injections, it stands to reason that many have received treatment in the first week or two of their pregnancy before they were aware that they were pregnant. That having been said, this is exactly the reason why it is not recommended to have Botox injections when pregnant.

Birth defects unfortunately occur all too often, and even if coincidental and unrelated to Botox injections, the injections may be cited as the cause, and put the injecting physician in "hot water". It is best to avoid any elective medical procedures during pregnancy.

Enjoy the "Glow of Pregnancy" during the 9 months of pregnancy and resume Botox if desired after your child is born. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Botox should be avoided during pregnancy.

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The report indicated a possible link between Botox and birth defects.  While a link does not prove that Botox causes birth defects, the stakes are too high.   I would certainly advise against Botox for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy within 3-4 months, or breast feeding.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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.