Botox nearly killed me: Texas woman, 36, reveals how regular injections left her partially paralyzed and choking on spit

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • Mom-of-three Alicia Hallock had been receiving Botox for 5 years for migraines
  • She said: ‘It spread to muscles in my neck and now it’s created many issues’
  • HAVE YOU HAD A BAD BOTOX REACTION? Email caitlin.tilley@mailonline.com 

A woman has claimed she nearly died after receiving Botox injections that left her partly paralyzed and choking on her own saliva.

Alicia Hallock, 36, from Texas, said on social media that she had been receiving shots of the infamous anti-wrinkle drug for almost five years to treat her migraines.

In what proved to be an incredibly rare complication, the muscle-freezing drug spread to her neck muscles, leaving her reliant on a brace to keep her head straight – and unable to move the area.

The drug caused her throat muscles to malfunction, limiting her ability to swallow. This led to a dangerous build up of mucus in her lungs and throat, which caused her to choke and stop breathing. 

If it weren’t for imminent treatment, doctors said she would have died.

Ms Hallock suffered an extreme reaction to Botox injections for migraines after the Botox spread to muscles in her neck

Ms Hallock in November 2023, after receiving an infusion for her chronic illnesses

Ms Hallock in November 2023, after receiving an infusion for her chronic illnesses

‘I ended up having a rare complication,’ she said in an Instagram post written from her hospital bed in late February.

‘It spread to muscles in my neck and now it’s created many issues. 

‘My eyelids are droopy, causing a lot of pressure, blurry vision, and dizziness. The muscles in my neck are essentially paralyzed so I can’t lift my own head.’

The mom-of-three’s complications also left her unable to swallow sips of water or her saliva.

Ms Hallock, an author, said the injections, which she’d been receiving from the same neurology clinic, had helped with her migraines. 

While it is well-known for its cosmetic uses, Botox can also be effective for preventing migraines. 

When a migraine strikes, the body releases substances called neurotransmitters and molecules that are associated with pain.

Botox interferes with the pain signals triggered by these substances when injected into the muscles around the head and neck.

It is thought that this is because the drug is absorbed by the nerves in the area that are involved in transmitting these signals to and from the brain.

Ms Hallock’s alarming symptoms came after the Botox was injected in a specific muscle in her neck for the first time. 

However doctors are not sure why the Botox spread or why she suddenly reacted so badly.

Ms Hallock started feeling symptoms such as a stiff neck within three days of the injections, which gradually got worse over the next week.

She said she ‘stupidly’ waited until day nine to go to the hospital and was admitted to the ICU straight away.

‘I’ve had six tubes shoved down my throat to get up all the mucus that’s stuck in my lungs and throat,’ she told her Instagram followers.

On February 18, she said: ‘They tried to suction me again last night because I had so mucus stuck, and I temporarily stopped breathing.

‘They had to bag me to bring my oxygen levels back up and to keep me from blacking out.’

Doctors were worried Ms Hallock could develop botulism – a very rare condition that attacks the body’s nerves and can be fatal.

Botulism is a type of food poisoning caused by toxins that grow on incorrectly sterilized canned and preserved foods.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the medicine in Botox injections is made from the same toxin that causes botulism.

In this instance, though, the toxin is purified and meets standards set by the FDA. 

Ms Hallock said: ‘One doctor had treated food-borne botulism, but not one person involved in my care had ever seen this from Botox injections.’ 

The CDC sent Ms Hallock a special botulism antitoxin to try and reduce the effects.

She was also placed on a feeding tube so she can be given medication and soft foods.

After 18 days in the hospital, Ms Hallock was discharged to continue her recovery at home.

‘I will do some basic exercises at home but won’t be able to safely restart physical therapy and outpatient therapy until four to six weeks from now once the Botox starts wearing off more and I can actually use and rebuild strength in my neck muscles,’ she said.

Ms Hallock has previously said she has a lung disease called bronchiectasis, as well as lupus and Ehlers Danlos. She also had the upper lobe of my right lung removed last year.

It is not clear whether any of her chronic conditions might have affected how her body responded to the Botox injections.

Because Ms Hallock’s reaction is so rare, the hospital is doing a case study on her case. 

There have been reports that frequent application of cosmetic Botox in a short amount of time might lead to botulism.

One study looked at 86 botulism patients caused by cosmetic injection of Botox who were admitted to one hospital in China between April 2009 and June 2013. 

Botox injections are usually safe when they are administered by a licensed and skilled health care provider, the Mayo Clinic said.

It can lead to unwanted results and side effects, such as droopy eyelids or an infection at the injection site or cause harm if given incorrectly.

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