Can Any of the Botox Get into my Bloodstream and Cause Harm to my Nerves That I May Not Know About?

More and more articles appear that have been written by scientists and medical doctors which claim the toxin spreads throughout the body causing nerve damage. I've also read a few articles that claim Botox gets into the brain which causes people to suffer with symptoms that create permanent disability. Who do I believe? If this information is not true - what do the authors gain by publishing information that leaves people feeling scared and confused?

Doctor Answers 5

Botox systemic concerns and safety

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Botox is delivered for cosmetic treatment as very small numbers of units per injection site so even if the needle were injected into a vein unknowingly, and the doctor not notice that the Botox was being delivered intravascularly, there would not be an expected ill-effect from such little dosage being distributed to a wide area through the blood stream.  

Botox works by blocking the nerve signal to a muscle. The nerve continues to work; nerves are not "killed" by Botox and  the muscle continues to work once it develops new receptors for the neural transmitter. 

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Botox and nerve damage

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It's difficult to answer your question without knowing what articles you are referring to, however for cosmetic Botox treatments, the amount injected doesn't warrant permanent disability and/or nerve damage. Consulting with a reputable and established injector is whom I would discuss your concerns and questions with to help educate and inform you on the potential side effects of Botox injections.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Botox concerns

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Botox can have some early complaints of local tenderness from the injections and headaches from travel of the medication in the blood.  However, I am a strong believer that a well trained board certified provider can carefully maneuver around the bigger veins that could be culprit of botox headaches.  permenant disability  questions I would defer to Allergan to see what the reported complaint may have been- I have never seen or heard of any in the cosmetic dosing level. 

You might also like...

Botox spread and damage

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

With cosmetic usage of Botox in small doses (e.g. under 100 units), it would be essentially unheard of to get Botox into your bloodstream or cause any problems of any major significance, or have much spread at all. Unfortunately, some of this data relates to very large doses of botox used in rats with very small bodies, so there will be some diffusion - thankfully you are not a rat!

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I read all the medical journals,and I have never heard of Botox spreading through the body causing nerve damage.  I've used Botox in my practice for at least 15 years, and this is simply not true.  Discuss this with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 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.