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30 August 2022

False Botulinum Toxin Product Causing Stir

Dysport and Botulinum Toxin, commonly known as Botox, are used for similar purposes in the medical industry. Dysport is used for removing glabellar lines and light wrinkles, and has also been FDA-approved for lower limb spasticity and cervical dystonia. Both the substances are introduced into the body through intramuscular injections, and care must be taken by the clinic in question to ensure sterile conditions for injecting each substance. However, the similarities between the two products can make Dysport a possible counterfeit for Botox, as WHO has just uncovered with help from Ipsen.


Ipsen has helped WHO to reveal the falsified product, its batch numbers, and expiry dates. WHO also noticed discrepancies in the packaging they used in terms of the vials and the printing errors that ultimately led to questioning the product at hand. Ipsen also revealed that the counterfeiters used fake vials for the packaging. While Botox and Dysport both have similar functions, they cannot be used interchangeably, which is why the situation caused quite a stir as well. Let us take a look at the Botox and Dysport products that are currently easily available in the market. 


What Is Dysport?

For facial feature enhancement, Dysport is used to get rid of glabellar lines. The glabella is the region between your eyebrows, and lines may appear in the area due to old age or persistent stress. Dysport is mainly used for the treatment of moderate to severe glabellar lines since they become noticeable even when the face is relaxed. The procedure for getting an injection of Dysport is also quite easy: The doctor applies a mild anesthetic to your face to dull any pain sensation you might feel and then inject the Dysport through the intramuscular route. The substance used inside Dysport is also similar to those used in Botox injections. This is why creating counterfeit Botox using Dysport is so much easier. 


What Is Botox?

Botox is an FDA-approved intramuscular substance that is used for treating wrinkles, smile lines, crow’s feet, along with glabellar lines. Botox is also applied similarly to Dysport. The doctor will apply a mild local anesthetic and then inject the Botox into your muscles, smoothing the wrinkles on your face.


Is Dysport Dangerous?

Dysport, in and of itself, is not a dangerous medication. The side effects of both the medications are also very similar to each other, as is the recovery time. Dysport is FDA-approved as well and is commonly used to treat spastic conditions of the body. However, the units used to treat each area differ for both Botox and Dysport. You will need much less Botox for an area with glabellar lines than you would need Dysport because Dysport is diluted compared to Botox.


Since Dysport is diluted, it is used for larger areas of the face like the forehead since the medication can diffuse into the area with ease. For smaller areas such as those around the eyes for crow’s feet, Dysport may be too imprecise a medication. Botox, being concentrated, makes for the best treatment for crow’s feet and other similar smaller wrinkled areas.Therefore, counterfeiting the product, even if it is not fatal to the patient, can cause unwanted effects that will cause the patient some level of discomfort. 


Side Effects Of Botox And Dysport

The possible side effects of both treatments are similar. The most common effects include slight pain, which can arise when the anesthesia wears off. Mild analgesics can usually help to subside the pain. Other than that, redness, bruising, and swelling are the most common side effects you can see. Since the quantity of both Botox and Dysport used in the skin is small, there is very little chance of more toxic and dangerous side effects arising. 



It is important for organizations such as WHO and Ipsen to keep an eye out for any falsified products to prevent patients from falling prey to them. Botulinum toxin and Dysport are FDA-approved products for the removal of lines on the forehead and are administered intramuscularly to the face. Both products go through rigorous testing and processes of sterilization to prevent any infections. Counterfeits will have no guarantee of going through any of these processes and can therefore be much more dangerous to the patient.

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