Don't jeopardise patient safety when prescribing Botox


For immediate release: Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Dentists should under no circumstances prescribe Botox for a patient outside their supervision, warns UK-wide dental defence organisation MDDUS.

This advice comes in the wake of the recent GMC announcement that doctors must only prescribe Botox and other injectable cosmetics after having face-to-face consultations with their patient. This prompted the GDC to remind registrants of its guidance with regards to remote prescribing.

The GDC states that such products should not be prescribed remotely as it is not in the best interests of patients.

MDDUS dental adviser Rachael Bell reminds dentists that botulinum toxin is a prescription only medicine and they should ensure that they comply with the regulations when prescribing it.

“As such, Botox should only be prescribed to patients following a face-to-face consultation, ensuring they have an up-to-date medical history for the patient and have made an appropriate diagnosis and consent to appropriate treatment,” says Bell.

“The question of who carries out the Botox or filler administration falls within the principles of dental team working, namely appropriate delegation, supervising, training and accountability. There should also be a suitably trained person available to deal with any medical emergencies and other practical issues.

“Under no circumstances, should a dentist prescribe Botox for someone outside their supervision.”

Previously, registered nurses gained access to botulinum toxin through prescription of the toxin to their clients by general medical practitioners. Following the GMC guidance on remote prescribing, some nurses are now approaching dentists requesting that they prescribe for them.

“It might be tempting to agree to prescribe for facial aesthetic practitioners,” adds Bell. “However, dentists should be aware that, if they are going to prescribe Botox, they should be trained, as a minimum, in the administration of Botox.

“Otherwise, they would be prescribing a drug which they have no or limited knowledge of. This could be seen as working outside their skills and experience by the GDC.

“MDDUS would strongly advise all those prescribing Botox to have appropriate training in its administration, complications, interactions and adverse reactions.”


For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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