An Interview with Dr. Rokhsar about Botox during pregnancy
Is it safe to get Botox during pregnancy?
It is NOT safe to get Botox during pregnancy because studies haven’t been done on pregnant women and there is no FDA approval for it. It is unknown how Botox would affect the development of the nervous system in the fetus. As a ‘neurotoxin’ it actually has a direct effect on how nerves communicate with muscles so when muscles are in development you don’t know when something has an inhibitory effect how the nervous system will develop.
What are the risks to the fetus/mother?
There is no risk per se to the mother. Only to the fetus and the development of the nervous system and possibly other systems as well since they all interact with each other.
Should women stop getting Botox if they are trying to conceive? If so, how long before?
Yes if they are actively trying to conceive, however the caveat is that most of the Botox injected gets bound to the muscles of the mother at the injection site after one week. The real risk is within the first one to two weeks post injection because after that there isn’t much free floating Botox in the mother’s system that can get transferred to the fetus.
What should a woman do if she got Botox before she knew she was pregnant?
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do. Chances are that everything will be fine and there will be minimal transmission to the fetus.
Do doctors ever test for pregnancy before giving Botox?
We don’t because we rely on the patient history. I always ask before doing a Botox injection if they are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant.
Do you recommend that women take a pregnancy test before getting Botox?
It is certainly something to consider if the woman wants to be extra careful, however there is no recommendation for that from the FDA or any medical societies.
Is it safe to get Botox while breastfeeding?
No. The effects of Botox have never been studied on a breastfeeding woman in clinical trials. There is a chance that in the first two weeks after Botox injections, some Botox can be secreted into the breastmilk of the woman and transferred to the baby. The effect of this is unknown on a developing child.
Are there any safe alternatives to Botox during pregnancy?
Lasers are safe during pregnancy since they are beams of light that penetrate the skin and not beyond. The main caution is to check with their OBGYN as to the safety of any numbing cream applied to the skin before any laser procedure if need be. One such laser for rejuvenation is the fraxel laser, which is very helpful in treatment of sun damage, pores, wrinkles, and skin tightening.