Anti- wrinkle injections (botulinum toxins) such as botox, vistabel, azzalure, xeomin, dysport, have become so commonplace, that it is easy to forget that all these products are in fact prescription drugs. Every time you have a botox treatment there should be a corresponding prescription issued by a registered medical doctor, dentist or prescribing nurse.
It has become common practice for freelance nurses (non prescribing) to administer these injections to individuals by obtaining botox and other botulinum toxins via remote prescription i.e. having doctors prescribe the botox via phone or fax without actually seeing the patient. With remote prescribing, the doctor cannot effectively evaluate the movement of facial muscles to determine the optimum dose of botulinum toxin to soften lines. This can only be done with a visual and physical examination face to face and not over the phone.
The General Medical Council (GMC) which regulates medical doctors has now revised its guidelines to say that botox and other botulinum toxins should only be prescribed following a face to face consultation, ending the practice of remote prescribing.
What does this mean to someone considering anti-wrinkle injections?
The GMC has your safety at the heart of this ruling.
Ask your practitioner , whether at a clinic or a beauty salon, if they are a qualified prescriber – some nurses have additional qualifications enabling them to prescribe botox, others do not. If they are using a remote prescriber they are acting outside of the GMC guidelines.
The General Dental Council and the Nursing and midwifery council have issued similar guidance to members in respect to remote prescribing. It is important, for safety and insurance purposes, to ensure that your treatment is conducted within GMC guidelines. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask the question!
Note: Botox is a registered trademark of allergan.