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Europe

Report: European Officials Warn Botox May Be Harmful

European health officials have said that Botox can have negative side effects, said to a German news report. The announcement came months after warnings against the wrinkle-smoothing injections were issued in the US.

A plastic surgeon gives a woman a Botox injection

The plastic surgeon just has to have good aim

The European Medicines Agency, based in London, found over 600 cases of negative side-effects with a potential link to Botox by August 2007, reported the German news weekly Focus in its edition to be released Monday, Sept. 1.

In 28 of the cases, the Botox users died.

Some 210 cases with a presumed link to the injection -- five of them lethal -- were reported by the Federal Institute for Medication and Medical Products in Germany.

Botox is famously used for cosmetic purposes to smooth wrinkles in aging skin, but it can also be used to treat a variety of conditions including muscle spasms in the eyelids or neck, back pain and excessive sweating.

The botulinum toxin found in Botox effectively paralyzes a muscle for four to six months when it is injected in small doses.

Authorities have said that striking the wrong muscle can be potentially dangerous, potentially even leading to death. Other side effects can include difficulty breathing or swallowing.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February warned of the potential danger of Botox, but stopped short of banning it. At the time, it stressed that none of the fatalities were patients who had received the injections for cosmetic purposes.

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