Botox: What Does Not Kill You Makes You Prettier

Face
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On Friday afternoon, the FDA issued a health warning about Botox. Seems the cosmetic wonder drug can cause muscles to droop or spasm and also difficulty breathing — and even death. Alarming reports followed: "Anti-Wrinkle Drugs Linked to Deaths"! We wondered if the hysteria was raising any eyebrows among the city's smooth-faced — metaphorically, we mean, since when botulinum is injected into the face, it often paralyzes the muscles one uses to lift one's eyebrows. Apparently, not so much. "Absolutely no one" has expressed any concern to him, says Park Avenue dermatologist Dr. Neil Sadick, who says he has a "very high-profile clientele — Wall Street, Hollywood." Do they not care because they would die to be pretty? Or because once you get past the headlines, you see that only a "handful" of cases are from non-cosmetic patients. FDA scientist Russell Katz tells us that most of the serious side effects and all of the deaths the FDA is investigating so far involve children who have gotten large doses for cerebral-palsy treatments. "There are some — very few — reports of these effects with cosmetic use," Katz said. Still, Katz adds, "I think people should be aware that there's a potential for something like this to happen." Sadick, on the other hand, says that people who want to try Botox should worry more about avoiding out-of-the-country and on-the-cheap sessions that are becoming more popular. His practice charges $500 to $600 a pop, if you want to try it. We hear flawless is always in fashion. —Drew Armstrong