Doctors’ offices and medical clinics around the country may have received shipments of counterfeit Botox, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning.
The unsafe, bogus Botox was sold by an unlicensed supplier not authorized to ship or distribute drug products in the U.S., the FDA said in a news release viewed by HealthDay. The counterfeit Botox is considered dangerous and should not be used. Health care professionals could easily mistake the bogus product for the legitimate one due to packaging similarities.
The FDA-approved Botox is manufactured by Allergan, and its packaging lists “OnabotulinumtoxinA” as the active ingredient on the outer carton and vial. The outer carton of the counterfeit version lists the active ingredient as “”Botulinum Toxin Type A.” The counterfeit product can also be identified in a number of other ways. The vial, for example, is missing the lot number. Health care professionals are urged to check with Allergan to confirm that the distributor that provided the Botox is authorized to sell the product. A list of authorized Botox suppliers can be found on Allergan’s website. Counterfeit boxes of Botox should be reported to the FDA, HealthDay reported.
Botox is a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is commonly used to smooth facial wrinkles and frown lines, and can also be used to treat severe underarm sweating, uncontrolled blinking and chronic migraines, according to HealthDay.
Allergan said in a statement viewed by the Chicago Tribune that in addition to violating federal law, products that are illegally imported may be counterfeit or compromised. “Therefore, health care officials purchasing products from a non-Allergan supplier are purchasing products that are fraudulently diverted and sold through unauthorized channels,” the company said.