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Art Nails injected unauthorized Botox, Health Canada warns

03/04/2015 11:07 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT
Health Canada is warning clients who thought they were getting Botox injections at a nail bar in downtown Vancouver, to see their doctor, after inspectors seized several unlabelled vials from the business.

The agency said the owner of Art Nails Ltd., located at 751 Helmcken St., was administering the unlabelled product to customers.

Eleven of the unlabelled vials were seized on Feb. 24. No charges have been laid in the case.

It remains unclear what was in the vials, but Health Canada considers it to be unauthorized because it was unlabelled.

The agency said it became aware of the unauthorized product, which was imported from China, during "compliance monitoring activities at the border, not the result of a complaint."

All products administered by injection in Canada must be authorized by Health Canada and must have approved labelling.

Health Canada said potential risks of injecting an unauthorized version of a health product such as Botox include mild paralysis in the area where it's administered or even death.

It is advising anyone who received Botox injections from the business to see a doctor if they have any concerns.

The agency has released photos of five see-through vials that were seized, including one containing a white "cake-like" substance, another with a clear liquid and one that has no cap and a sticky residue where a label was apparently removed.

Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar of the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons, said only doctors and dentists can inject Botox.

"But a doctor may provide an order for a nurse to do the injection under their direction," she said.

Botox is used as an anti-wrinkle treatment but is also prescribed to paralyze certain muscles if, for example, a patient suffers from spasms after a stroke.

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