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Ensuring the Safety of Your Botox: How to Identify and Avoid Counterfeit Products


Recently, as of April, 2024 some cases have come forth of counterfeit versions of  botox & Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) that have caused numerous health complications to people and as a result have led them to be hospitalised. In developing countries like India, Pakistan and others, it is more common than not, for fake or inferior chemicals to be used as “Botox.” Those who are not educated, are the most prone to being taken advantage of. It comes down to profit over good medical aesthetic care.

At American & UK Ozonesthetics, also known as London Aesthetics at DHA 4 in Lahore and DHA 2 Islamabad, we are under American and U.K. Management and are duty bound to comply with the same medical and ethical rules and regulations found in those countries. can be of concern. We encourage our Clients to ask questions not only if they go to other Aesthetic Clinics for treatment, but question our doctors. Here is a guide on what to ask your healthcare professional and we will also discuss the guidelines on how to spot a counterfeit so that your treatment remains safe and reliable.

ozon esthetics

Are You Being Treated By A Bona Fide Aesthetic Doctor

The biggest problem in the Aesthetic industry is that so many clients are relying upon non-doctors to get treatment from. Administering Botox, comes under “invasive” treatment. Laser, HIFU etc come under “non-invasive.” What this means is that Botox requires a medical professional who is trained to know precisely where and how to administer the product. Further, they have ethical duties to disclose the Bad, as well as the Good, that can potentially occur from any treatment. They also have to duty to give you options and to discuss the poorer, and cheaper Botox qualities, as well as the better ones. 

treatment provider

Those who are not doctors are not legally nor educationally required to do these things. So it does matter whether you are being treated by a bona fide MBBS, MD or BDO.

Identifying Genuine Botox

To non-professionals, or those who have not educated themselves, it is difficult to distinguish between a real and counterfeit botox product. No matter, educated or not, at minimum you should certainly ask the question “Is this real botox?” also, “What are the negative results of this type of botox?” and as to see the botox product and google the “pros and cons” , it should always be administered by healthcare professionals so you can get honest answers to your questions from your healthcare professional. Here are some features that can help you distinguish between real and fake Botox,:

  • Product Labeling and Packaging:
      • Background and Product Shot: Genuine Botox Cosmetic vials have a tan background with the product shot indicating “100 units/vial.”
      • Units per Vial: FDA-approved Botox Cosmetic is available in vials of 50 units and 100 units, while Botox for medical use is available in vials of 100 units and 200 units. Any other amounts indicate a counterfeit product.
      • Box Label:For Botox Cosmetic, the label should read “BOTOX® COSMETIC” with “onabotulinumtoxinA for injection” below. For Botox, the label should read “OnabotulinumtoxinA” with “BOTOX for injection” below.
  • Manufacturer Information:
      • Genuine Botox is produced by Allergan. Packaging should display either “Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company” or “abbvie,” along with a holographic “Allergan” image on the vial.
  • Active Ingredient:
    • The labels on both the box and vial should clearly state the active ingredient as “onabotulinumtoxinA.”


Indicators of Counterfeit or Fake Botox

Some or all of the following signs might be shown by a counterfeit Botox;

  • The lot number C3709C3 may appear on the box or the vial.
  • The box may list “Botulinum Toxin Type A” as the active ingredient instead of onabotulinumtoxinA.
  • The packaging and vial may indicate a content of 150 units, whereas genuine Botox products are only available in vials of 50, 100, or 200 units.

treatment provider

  • The outer carton uses languages other than English.
  • The vial lacks the holographic “Allergan” image.
  • Vision issues, such as blurred or double

healthcare professionals

Risks of Counterfeit Botox 

At London Aesthetics we follow strict guidelines set by FDA and source all our equipment and materials from licensed suppliers. Always choose a clinic that is reliable and has hygiene as their top priority like London Aesthetics to get your Botox procedure done as receiving injections in environments that are non-medical can increase the chances of encountering a counterfeit. Due to the use of counterfeit Botox that is sourced from unlicensed suppliers there have been reports of serious side effects. They are stored improperly, incorrectly labelled regarding the amount of Botox contained by them or can  even be contaminated. Risks of Counterfeit Botox. Following are some side effects reported from the use of these counterfeit products.


  • Drooping eyelids
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Constipation
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Trouble lifting the head
  • Shortness of breath

The spread of the active ingredient in Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) might spread to other parts of the body leading to a condition  known as botulism. 

Counterfeit Botox

What to Do If You Suspect You’ve Received Counterfeit Botox?

If you suspect that you have received counterfeit Botox, contact your healthcare professional immediately. Additionally, report the incident to the FDA by calling 800-551-3989 or filing a report on their website. If you are a  healthcare professional who suspects you have administered counterfeit Botox, inform all potentially affected individuals as soon as possible.

If you experience side effects from Botox, regardless of whether you believe the product is counterfeit, report these to the FDA’s MedWatch Program. This program allows healthcare professionals and also the public to report adverse effects from medications and medical devices. You can submit a report online using the MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form, or you can download, complete, and mail or fax the form.

In the event of severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, or severe muscle weakness after a Botox injection—whether or not you are sure it’s counterfeit—seek emergency medical attention. Call or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room.


Avoiding Counterfeit Botox

To protect yourself from counterfeit Botox, ensure that you receive injections in a healthcare setting from professionals that are trained and licensed. When considering a Botox injection, ask the following questions from your treatment provider:

  • Is the treatment provider of  Botox injection licensed and trained? (Only medical professionals such as physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants are qualified to administer Botox.)
  • Is the Botox product being used FDA-approved?
  • Is the Botox sourced from a reliable, authorised supplier?

If any of these questions are answered with “no,” do not proceed with the Botox injection. Additionally, report any suspected counterfeit Botox to the FDA by calling 800-551-3989 or filing a report on their website.

For healthcare professionals administering Botox injections, always purchase products from licensed, reputable sources. Authentic Botox from Allergan is safe and effective when administered correctly. Inspect the product thoroughly before use, and if you suspect it might be counterfeit, do not administer it.


  1. Research, C. F. D. E. A. (2024, May 2). Counterfeit version of Botox found in multiple states. U.S. Food And Drug Administration. 
  2. GoodRX – error. (n.d.). 
  3. Gibson, K. (2024, April 23). Counterfeit Botox blamed in 11-state outbreak of botulism-like illnesses. CBS News. 
  4. Shastri, D. (2024, April 23). US health officials warn of counterfeit Botox injections | AP News. AP News. 
  5. Vogel, K. (2024, April 17). Counterfeit botox caused botulism reactions in 9 U.S. states, CDC says. Healthline. 

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