Fat-Melting Injections: Dangerous, Unproven but Widely Available

LipoDissolve is the brand name for an injectable drug that is supposed to melt fat. The patient gets a series of injections that supposedly dissolve the bonds between fat cells, and the body then flushes the fat away. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Patients who’ve had these injections have told the Food and Drug Administration that they’ve developed painful knots under their skin, scarring, deformities and other bad outcomes. What’s worse, the drugs used — chemicals caled phosphatidylcholine (PC) and deoxycholate (DC) — have never been proven to be effective for these promoted purposes.

The FDA has tried to crack down on these treatments. Last spring, it sent warning letters to various “medspas” — usually run by well credentialed dermatologists or plastic surgeons — telling them that they were making false and misleading statements on their websites. For example, here’s an excerpt of one letter sent to a dermatologist in the tony Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland:

Although intravenous phosphatidylcholine has been approved in some countries for the treatment of a variety of conditions, it has not been approved in the U.S. Currently there is no FDA approved injectable PC or DC, and therefore, your claim that PC and DC have been FDA approved individually for medical conditions is false or misleading. In addition, FDA is unaware of evidence to support the safety claims for your Lipodissolve products.

As explained above, the claims made for your Lipodissolve products are false or misleading in that they are not supported by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience.

Read the full letter here.

Despite the FDA’s efforts, LipoDissolve is still widely available. Lots of patients assume that someone in a white coat with an MD behind their name wouldn’t offer to inject something into their body unless it was absolutely safe and legal. And the idea that you can lose weight effortlessly, and look better too, makes it all the more irresistable.

A good rule for patients to follow applies in other walks of life too: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C. listed in Best Lawyers Rated by Super Lawyers Patrick A. Malone
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