FDA-required warnings include the remote possibility of life-threatening weakness of the muscles associated with swallowing, speaking, or breathing. If the toxin spreads beyond the injection sites, moreover, Botox may also contribute to overall muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and loss of bladder control. A serious allergic reaction is another risk.
But there is no denying the unmistakable appeal of Botox treatments: They require only a session every few months and offer freedom from pain pills. And while the shots now cost patients thousands of dollars a year, FDA approval could mean that health insurers will start footing the bill.