In 2010, a child received an injection of Botox to treat mild cerebral palsy. According to the Burlington Free Press, the first dosage did not work, so the child received the treatment again in 2012. However, the second treatment involved a larger dose, triggering a severe allergic reaction. The family has sued Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug, claiming the defendant did not properly warn people about possible side effects.
As a defective product lawyer in Nevada knows, drug makers are required to publish known side effects. Anyone in Reno or across the country who is considering a pediatric prescription for Botox should be aware of the risks involved.
Treatment for children
Botox has skyrocketed in popularity for its ability to smooth lines and wrinkles in adults. A lesser known use for the drug is treating children who have cerebral palsy or spastic muscular disorder. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Botox enables children with these conditions to walk without the need for surgery because the drug, botulinum toxin, reduces muscle tightness in the legs.
However, as the organization notes, there has not been extensive study done on how this drug affects a child’s brain, spinal cord and muscles.
Side effects of Botox
As a defective product lawyer in Nevada may have seen, anyone who takes a medication or uses a medical product can suffer undesirable side effects. According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, possible side effects of Botox injections in children includes the following:
- Temporary bruising
- Small dots of blood at the injection site
- A slightly weakened muscle
- A new gait pattern when walking as the child adjusts to the change in muscle contraction
In some circumstances, it is possible for Botox to spread into blood outside of the intended muscle area. This can trigger a harmful response from the immune system, as evidenced by the case with the young boy.
This child, who is now 6, suffered an allergic reaction to the Botox injection that involved slurred speech, difficulty breathing, seizures, vomiting and facial swelling. According to the court complaint, he has experienced permanent damage in the form of a heightened immune system and seizures. During his testimony, a doctor testified that it is possible for Botox to enter the brain and cause seizures.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Botox as a treatment method children with cerebral palsy. Therefore, the treatment is referred to as “off-label.” The family of the young boy claim that Allergan marketed Botox as acceptable for many off-label uses. In the lawsuit, the boy’s parents are seeking $75,000 from the pharmaceutical company.
Anyone who has questions regarding a harmful drug should contact a defective product lawyer in Nevada.