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Is Botox Poisonous? Answering FAQs on Botox Safety & Side Effects

By SL Aesthetic Clinic
Is Botox Poisonous

Botox has been used for aesthetics procedures for quite a while. While its efficacy is largely undoubted, there have been some discussions on its purported safety through the years. You might be considering the use of Botox in Singapore, and wondering about the drug’s safety and possible side effects. For this article, we cover the safety record of Botox and its side effects, so you can make an informed decision.

What is Botox and how Does it Work?

The use of Botox for its primary ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles has existed for years. It is derived from a neurotoxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria and if it sounds slightly familiar, this might be because the same bacteria and toxin is the cause of the food poisoning called botulism.

When used in small amounts, and within a controlled and targeted context, the Botulinum A toxin can be used to relax the muscle that it is injected into by blocking nerve signals going to and from said muscle. This stops the muscle from contracting, and therefore prevents the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Botox can be combined with other cosmetic skin procedures to further improve the anti-aging effect it has.

How Safe is Botox?

How Safe is Botox

Due to the way Botox is produced and used, it is generally safe. According to a 2005 study by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), out of all licensed uses of Botox from the first 13.5 years, only 36 serious adverse effect cases occurred when Botox was used for cosmetic reasons. Additionally, among those 36 cases, no deaths had been reported. However, when used for treatment of medical conditions (such as body muscle spasms) , 33 times more adverse effect cases were reported, with some deaths occurring.

This means that when Botox in Singapore is used in cosmetic situations, it is very safe. Many of the serious adverse effects were already previously recognized in clinical trials of Botox . Additionally, in many of the adverse effect cases resulting from cosmetic use, there were multiple deviations from FDA-approved recommendations for drug dose, dilution, handling, injection sites, and storage.

The study seemed to indicate that many of the serious adverse reactions were not a direct result of the use of Botox, but a result of the misuse of the drug or related to an underlying condition.

Another global meta-analysis study on 1678 participants who had used Botox in the treatment of facial lines found that most adverse events related to the use of Botox for cosmetic use were mild or moderate.

The only slightly more significant but temporary adverse effect was eyelid sensory disorder, or the sensation of eyelids feeling “tight”, “pressured”, “heavy” or “drooping”. Such eyelid sensory disorder or swelling was more common in Asian patients, but did not end up turning serious.

Most other adverse events were related to the act of injection, or a highly-local reaction to the Botox.

Finally, a recently published 2021 review of published journal articles from 2000 to 2020 found that the vast majority of Botox injected-related adverse effects were mild and temporary, and included reactions like:

  • Localised swelling
  • Localised pain in the injection area
  • Skin discolouration or reddening
  • Drooping of the eyelid or brow area

The evidence found by studies on Botox seem to point to the fact that aesthetic use of Botox is safe, as long as it is stored and applied properly by a licensed professional after consultation.

As a general rule, you should always look for a trained aesthetic doctor or dermatologist for your Botox injections. While it is true that seeking Botox injections in Singapore from such professionals may be more expensive, you would be paying for their expertise, on top of just the vial of Botox.

Such expertise is crucial, as these professionals have knowledge of the correct method of preparation and injection of this drug. They would also be trained in understanding and pinpointing the correct locations on your face for optimal effect.

Who Should not use Botox?

In Singapore, most people over the age of 18 can use Botox to improve their aesthetic look. However, there are some people with certain underlying conditions who should not use this treatment. You should not get a Botox treatment if you have:

  • Allergy to Botox
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Skin infections
  • Difficulty clotting your blood
  • Recent eye surgery
  • Muscle disorders
  • Nerve disorders
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory issuesBeen treated with any botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months

Unless absolutely necessary, pregnant women should not use Botox for any kind of treatment.

Additionally, if you are taking any medication, you should share that information with your aesthetic doctor who will then assess if there are any potential side effects that can be triggered from drug interactions with Botox.

What are the Botox side effects to look out for?

Some common minor side effects at the injection area to look out for are:

  • Localised pain
  • Localised swelling or bruising

These generally resolve on their own, and should not be too concerning. Doctors tend to issue creams to help with such side effects.

Other side effects are related to the application of Botox on specific areas of the face. If you had injections near the mouth area, you might experience unintended drooling, or have a slightly crooked smile. If you had a Botox injection in Singapore near the eye area, you may experience drooping eyelids, uneven eyebrows, dry eyes or tearing. These unwanted side effects tend to be triggered by the introduction of the drug to the muscles in the area of injection. In some cases, a doctor’s technique might also affect how much of a side effect you experience.

There are some unlikely side effects that should raise a red flag. For instance, if you begin to develop symptoms that are related to botulism treatments for the face, you should seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking properly or having slurred speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Facial weakness on both sides of the face
  • Paralysis


We Can Help!

Treating wrinkles and fine lines with Botox requires technique and skills, tailored to each unique individual. If you want Botox treatment in Singapore, you should consider a detailed examination by a trained medical practitioner.

Our qualified doctors customise suitable treatment plans based on your existing face contour and desired outcomes. If you are tired of seeing fine lines and wrinkles forming on your face, SL Aesthetic Clinic can provide you with the necessary diagnosis and treatment to alleviate your aesthetic concerns. Call us now at 6235 3246, or Whatsapp us at 9850 7112.

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