Q: Is it safe to use Botox for cosmetic purposes while pregnant?
A: No. Botox hasn’t been tested for use during pregnancy, so we don’t know if it can harm a baby in utero, according to George Macones, M.D., chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. Botox is a class C drug, which means it should only be used during pregnancy if its benefits outweigh the potential for risk. A form of the toxin created by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, Botox works by blocking the chemicals that otherwise signal a muscle to contract. It’s used cosmetically to smooth facial wrinkles, and medically to control severe muscle spasms resulting from cerebral palsy, a head or spinal cord injury, or multiple sclerosis. “In my opinion, cosmetic reasons are not acceptable for using a drug we know so little about in pregnancy,” Macones says.