U.S CDC investigates harmful reactions to counterfeit Botox injections

This March 20, 2002 photo shows a vial of Botox, made by Allergan. [AP Photo]

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating reports of harmful reactions among people who received injections of counterfeit or mishandled botulinum toxin, known as "Botox," the agency said on Monday.

As of Monday, the CDC has received reports of 19 people in nine states who experienced harmful reactions after receiving counterfeit Botox injections or injections administered by unlicensed or untrained individuals and (or) in non-healthcare settings, such as homes or spas.

Nine people have been hospitalized and four were treated with botulism antitoxin because symptoms were consistent with the possible spread of toxin, according to the CDC. No deaths have been reported.

Many of the products being investigated are counterfeit or were administered in non-healthcare settings, such as homes and spas, or by an unlicensed or untrained individual, according to the CDC.

The CDC is working with several state and local health departments. Moreover, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has intervened in the investigation.