Friday, February 8, 2008
Very interesting article on cnn.com -- FDA warns of Botox side effects, deaths. The FDA currently says it's only probing a "relative handful" of reports, but the widespread usage of Botox certainly raises the possibility of a mass tort. Here's an excerpt:
The popular anti-wrinkle drug Botox and a competitor have been linked to dangerous botulism symptoms in some users, cases so bad that a few children given the drugs for muscle spasms have died, the government warned Friday.
The Food and Drug Administration's warning includes both Botox, a wrinkle-specific version called Botox Cosmetic, and its competitor, Myobloc, drugs that all use botulinum toxin to block nerve impulses, causing them to relax.
In rare cases, the toxin can spread beyond the injection site to other parts of the body, paralyzing or weakening the muscles used for breathing and swallowing, a potentially fatal side effect, the FDA said.
Botox is best known for minimizing wrinkles by paralyzing facial muscles -- but botulinum toxin also is widely used for a variety of muscle-spasm conditions, such as cervical dystonia or severe neck spasms.