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Beware the Dangers of Counterfeit Botox, Juvéderm and Restylane
As cosmetic drugs like Botox® and Restylane® become more popular the danger from counterfeit substitutes rises. Some minimize these dangers, assuming that poor treatment results is their worst case scenario. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In recent years, several incidents of fake Botox injections have put victims in the hospital. One woman died after receiving a supposed Botox injection that was, in reality, cooking oil. Fake Botox can cause paralysis of the muscles that control swallowing and breathing. Injection with Botulinum Toxin A in the wrong amount can cause respiratory distress or even death. Doctors such as Simon Ourian MD, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills, that work with Botox every day have a very grave response to those who ask “What’s the worst that could happen if I were injected with a fake product?” “Even if a procedure seems small, the risk you take for using a counterfeit product or an unqualified injector could alter your life,” says Dr. Ourian.
Botox is not the only medication with counterfeits. Juvéderm® and Restylane®, as well as other cosmetic injectables, are often misrepresented. Many consumers receive injections that they think are Juvéderm or Restylane, but that are in fact something else altogether.
The danger of fake injectables such as Restylane and Juvéderm is that they may contain contaminants that could cause an allergic reaction or worse. In the worst-case scenario, the substance being injected may not even be what it is purported to be. As mentioned, a woman died after being injected with cooking oil rather than Botox. Many women in Europe are having silicone breast implants removed because they contained industrial silicone, which can cause serious health issues.
Often consumers are tricked into allowing non-licensed practitioners to perform “minor” procedures such a Botox® and Restylane® injections or laser treatments due to the lower costs; but are you really getting what you are paying for? Many of these fake injectables are used not at medical facilities but at spas and similar non-medical establishments. This should serve as a clue to patients, because the drugs in question may legally only be administered only by a medical professional in a medical facility.
Another problem arises, however, when pharmacies in other countries, such as Canada, sell fake medications to physicians in the U.S. at below-market prices. This complicates the patient’s ability to detect a counterfeit and avoid it.
According to Dr. Ourian, “No matter where the injection takes place or who administers it, the best protection is to be very knowledgeable and prepared.” Also know exactly what the packaging should look like and how it should be sealed. Ask to see the unopened syringe, and check to make sure that the required logos, warnings and seals are intact. The potential dangers of counterfeit injectables are extremely serious and should not be underestimated.
Doctor Ourian's Epione Medical Corporation, located in Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle, is among the most comprehensive and state-of-the-
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Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist Simon Ourian has joined with Lisa Vanderpump star of Bravo’s Beverly Hills Housewives. A Skin care line developed by Dr. Ourian at his exclusive Beverly Hills med-spa now perfected in partnership with Ms. Vanderpump.