Warnings Botox can cause birth defects
Reported January 27, 2009
Botox can cause birth defects, women contemplating the anti-wrinkle treatment have been warned.
The Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA) on Tuesday urged its members to stick to national guidelines for the use of Botox.
It follows reports last month of a case in 2005 in which a link was made between a child born deaf and blind and its mother’s use of an anti-wrinkle treatment during pregnancy.
“Botulinum toxin should not be prescribed to pregnant women and we advise our members to strictly follow these guidelines,” said the CPSA’s Dr Gabrielle Caswell.
“Botulinum toxin has a long history of efficacy and a robust safety profile, however there are some circumstances, such as during pregnancy, breastfeeding, glaucoma and neuromuscular disease where it is not an appropriate medication.”
The 2005 case, details of which were obtained through Freedom of Information laws, did not involve Botox but a rival botulinum type A toxin drug called Dysport.
The mother was reportedly injected with the muscle-relaxant cosmetic treatment in the first month of pregnancy.
The birth defect was among 46 different adverse reactions to botulinum type A toxin reported to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration since 1994.
Dr Caswell said those considering the treatment should discuss it first with their doctor.
“There is information posted on the internet, primarily from other countries where health regulation standards may not be equal to Australia’s,” Dr Caswell said.
Such information should be ignored by cosmetic physicians in Australia, she said.
“It is important that women who are, or may be, pregnant realise that the health of the foetus ought to be of paramount concern,” she also said.
In 2007, Australians spent an estimated $300 million on non-invasive cosmetic treatments including laser hair removal and Botox.