A probable case of iatrogenic botulism related to cosmetic injections of botulinum toxin, Taiwan, 2018

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.201901_35(1).0001

Hsin-Yi Wei*, Wan-Ching Chen, Yu-Fang Tsai, Hsiao-Ping Tung

2019 Vol.35 NO.1

Correspondence Author: Hsin-Yi Wei*

  • Taipei Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


In November 2018, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control was notified of a suspected botulism intoxication case occurred in a 40-year-old female, who developed dysphagia, blurred vision and dyspnea following cosmetic procedure performed oversea in October. She had visited several clinics and hospitals for help but in vain. Then she went to one medical center for the application of botulism antitoxin. The clinician reported this case to the public health authority after clinical evaluation.

The supply of botulism antitoxin is extremely limited, leading to its high cost. The procurement cost per bottle in 2018 is around 200,000 New Taiwan dollars. Foreigners or those who received botulinum toxin injections for cosmetics or other personal reasons should receive the antitoxin at their own expense. Those who plan to receive botulinum toxin injections, especially for those doing the procedure abroad, should make sure that the injections are performed by qualified medical professionals in registered facilities, and inspect the labeled components and licensed number of the injection preparations before procedure. Clinicians should report any case with botulism intoxication presentation after receiving botulinum toxin injections.