FDA Approves an Injection to Cure Double Chins. Is It Dangerous?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2015 | News

We live in a world where two is better than one, but that rule just doesn’t apply when it comes to chins. The dreaded “double chin” affects a great many Americans, including even some people who are otherwise in shape.

Double chins are caused by a buildup of fat deposits in the neck area, referred to clinically as submental fat. They exist across all age groups and demographics, and they’ve long stood out as a top cosmetic complaint among those wishing to improve the way they look and feel, especially in a state like Florida, where people place a premium on beauty.

Now, the FDA has just approved a brand-new injection that they say can shrink or even eliminate the double chin in many patients. Until now, the only other options have been weight loss (which, even if achieved, may not target the chin directly) and surgery (which is risky, invasive, and expensive).

As you might imagine, then, the new injection is already getting a lot of attention. But is it safe?

New Double-Chin Cure: Could Kybella Injections Be Dangerous?

The so-called double-chin cure is a drug called Kybella, and it comes in the form of an injection. It’s actually a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring chemical already found inside our bodies. It breaks down fat cells’ membranes, which are then absorbed and metabolized.

But as promising as it sounds, Kybella isn’t without its risks. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Kybella comes from fresh-out-of-the-gate manufacturer Kythera Biopharmaceuticals. The drug is their very first approved by the FDA.
  • While the drug has been tested and approved by the FDA, rollout has been slow. Reportedly, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have only recently begun to receive training in select locations, so finding an experienced doctor to administer the injection may prove difficult for a while.
  • Patients without good skin tone may find that, even though the fat cells are reduced or destroyed, the skin surrounding the double chin does not retract after the procedure. Kybella is not designed to tighten skin.
  • Patients may be subjected to as many as 50 injections during a single procedure. As one CBS News medical contributor put it, “it’s not for the faint of heart.”
  • While the company promises permanent results, the long-term effects aren’t yet conclusively known. Reportedly, initial studies followed patients for only two years.

Additionally, Kybella is known to cause a number of side effects. These include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Numbness
  • Hardening of the treated area
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nerve injury
  • Muscle weakness
  • Uneven smile

Rethinking the Double-Chin Cure: Reflect Before You Inject

As Miami medical malpractice attorneys, we understand the temptation to elect for a noninvasive injection over a potentially dangerous surgery. Injections are still medical procedures, though, and the chemicals inside them are still drugs. It’s important to make sure that the products you allow into your body won’t cause more harm than good.

FDA approval is always a welcome sign, but many FDA-approved drugs have caused serious injury in the past, some leading to massive recalls or even deaths. Dangerous drugs are a fact of life in the medical industry, and patients must exercise caution to protect themselves against hasty or careless manufacturers and health care providers.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury relating to a cosmetic procedure, the Miami attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan can help. You may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.

Even if you haven’t suffered adverse effects from one of these procedures or drugs, we hope you’ll help us spread the word. While plenty of articles are making their way around social media and building excitement for the so-called double-chin cure, we want to make our community aware of the risks and reservations.

Share this article with your family and friends, and sound off with your own thoughts on the double-chin debate in the comments section below!

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Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.