The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against using unapproved fat-dissolving injections due to possible health risks.
The unapproved injections are sold under brand names such as Aqualyx, Lipodissolve, Lipo Lab, Kabelline, and others. These products pose significant health risks because the FDA has not evaluated their safety or effectiveness.
The injections are marketed to reduce fat deposits in areas of the body such as the chin, back, thighs, upper arms, and stomach.
Fat-dissolving injections contain ingredients that are not approved by the FDA, such as phosphatidylcholine (PPC) and sodium deoxycholate (DC). Therefore, the products are sometimes referred to as "PCDC injections."
The FDA has received reports about adverse reactions to these injections, including permanent scars, serious infections, skin deformities, cysts, and deep, painful knots after receiving unapproved fat-dissolving injections.
The agency describes the case of a woman who developed multiple infected knots at the injection sites on the upper arm after receiving Lipodissolve. The photo shared by the FDA shows the knots still being highly visible after two months of antibiotic treatment.
While some consumers received the injections at clinics or med spas, others purchased the unapproved fat-dissolving drugs online and injected them themselves.
Improper or unsafe injection practices by unlicensed personnel when administering these injections could increase the risk of scarring and skin infections, resulting in serious complications, according to the FDA.
Are there injections approved by the FDA?
The FDA has approved only one fat-dissolving injectable drug, Kybella, the brand name for deoxycholic acid. It is approved for reducing the amount of fat under the chin, or "double chin," in adults.
The drug was not evaluated for safety and approved for use in any other areas of the body. It should be administered only by a healthcare professional.