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Deoxycholic acid

Generic Name: deoxycholic acid (dee OX i KOE lik AS id)
Brand Name: Kybella

Medically reviewed on June 20, 2018

What is deoxycholic acid?

Deoxycholic acid is a manmade form of a substance your body makes that helps to absorb fats. Deoxycholic acid works by destroying fat cells where it is injected into the body.

Deoxycholic acid is used to help decrease the appearance of fat that hangs below the chin, sometimes called a double-chin.

Deoxycholic acid has not been tested for safe use on other areas of the body.

Deoxycholic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with deoxycholic acid if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • an infection in or around the area to be treated.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • surgery or other cosmetic treatments on your neck, chin, or face (or if you plan to have surgery on any of these areas);

  • trouble swallowing;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • swollen lymph glands in your neck; or

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia.

It is not known whether deoxycholic acid will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Deoxycholic acid is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How is deoxycholic acid given?

Deoxycholic acid is injected under the skin directly into the area beneath your chin. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

You may be treated with a topical numbing medicine or an ice pack to ease pain and make you comfortable during the injections.

Deoxycholic acid must be given in a series of up to 6 treatment sessions in order to be effective. You may receive up to 50 injections at each session.

Each treatment session should be spaced no less than 1 month apart. Many people have had visible results after 2 to 4 sessions.

Your doctor will determine the right number of injections and how many sessions you need, depending on the results you want.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your deoxycholic acid injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid after receiving deoxycholic acid?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Deoxycholic acid side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • trouble swallowing;

  • weak muscles in your face;

  • a crooked smile;

  • open skin sores or drainage around treated areas; or

  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given.

Common side effects may include:

  • numbness or hardening of treated areas;

  • hair loss around treated areas; or

  • swelling, bruising, redness, or tenderness of treated areas.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Deoxycholic acid dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Submental Fat Reduction:

Area-adjusted dose of 2 mg/cm2 injected subcutaneously into fat tissue in the submental area.

Comments:
-A single treatment consists of up to a maximum of 50 injections, 0.2 mL each (up to a total of 10 mL), spaced 1-cm apart.
-Up to 6 single treatments may be administered at intervals no less than 1 month apart.
-The number of injections and the number of treatments should be tailored to the individual patient's submental fat distribution and treatment goals.

Use: Improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe convexity or fullness associated with submental fat.

What other drugs will affect deoxycholic acid?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect deoxycholic acid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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