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Botox jury awards $15 million to injured patient

Botox was approved the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989 for the cosmetic treatment of facial lines. It is made from the bacteria that causes botulism. It paralyzes nerve endings in small doses, and when it is injected into the forehead area, lines and furrows temporarily disappear.

Botox is the trade name for botulinum toxin, type A, which has been described by the Journal of the American Medical Association as "the most poisonous substance known." JAMA, February 28, 2001, 285: 1059-1070. Botox, especially at high doses, can migrate out of the injected muscles and cause severe injuries which constitute, or at least mimic the symptoms of, botulism.

 Recently, Botox patients have recovered millions of dollars from the manufacturer of Botox their injuries.  Lawsuits are pending throughout the United States against Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, brought by injured patients. 

In a recent Oklahoma case, a jury awarded $15 million to a 47-year-old woman who suffered years of pain after getting Botox injections.  The plaintiff was a doctor who fell ill and eventually lost her job after getting the injections in 2006.  She suffered botulism poisoning, and as a result fell so ill that she had to quit her medical practice.  She experienced double vision, breathing difficulty and years of continual pains in her arms, hands and feet.   The jury found the company was negligent in its off-label promotion of the drug and failure to properly warn of side effects.

The defendant planned to appeal the jury's decision.