August 13, 2022

Kybella (Deoxycholic Acid) – Injectable: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, Interactions

What is Kybella?

Kybella (deoxycholic acid) is a cosmetic injectable medication used to improve the appearance of a double chin (fat under the chin). It is a cytolytic drug, which means that it causes tissue breakdown by physically destroying the cell membrane of tissues and dissolving fats. It is also a non-surgical option for lipomas, non-cancerous tumors made up of fat cells. A healthcare professional can only inject this drug in a healthcare facility.

Medication Facts

Generic name: Deoxycholic acid

brand names): Cybella

Availability of drugs: Order

Therapeutic classification: Cytolytic

Available generically: Nope

Controlled substance: N / A

Administrative itinerary: Subcutaneous injection (under the skin)

active ingredient: Deoxycholic acid

Dosage form(s): Injection

What is Kybella used for?

Kybella (deoxycholic acid) improves the appearance of moderate to severe fat under the chin, also known as “double chin”. The maximum number of treatments you can get with Kybella is six, spaced at least one month apart.

How to take Kybella

Your health care provider will administer this injection as an injection into the fatty part of your skin. Kybella will not be injected into your vein or artery as this may damage your blood vessel. Avoid injections near the nerves of the lower lip (marginal mandibular nerve) and the superficial muscle of the neck (platysmal area) to prevent nerve damage.

Apply pressure to the injected site to reduce bleeding, if necessary. Use topical pain creams, ice packs, or cold compresses at the injection site to relieve pain or swelling.

Each Kybella bottle label has a hologram. If your healthcare provider does not see the hologram on the vial, they should not use it and should call 1-800-678-1605.

Storage

Store vials intact at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees F). However, excursions are permitted between cool and slightly warm temperatures (59 degrees and 86 degrees F).

If you need to store this medication at home, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for instructions.

How long does Kybella take to work?

It takes about 18 minutes for Kybella to peak in your system. However, up to six injections may be needed to see its full effects.

What are the side effects of Kybella?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience any other effects, contact your pharmacist or healthcare professional. You can report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Many people do not notice any negative side effects when taking Kybella. However, some people experience problems when taking the drug.

Common side effects

Common Kybella side effects include, but are not limited to:

  • Swelling
  • Injection site bleeding
  • Redness
  • Numbness or hardened injection area
  • Headache
  • bruises

Serious side effects

Kybella can cause many side effects. Some can be life threatening. Call your healthcare provider right away if you experience any serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms are life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency. Serious side effects include:

  • Uneven smile
  • facial weakness
  • Drainage
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Change in skin temperature
  • Change in skin color
  • Skin wounds at the injection site
  • Skin ulcers and pain
  • Signs of an allergic reaction
  • Injection site alopecia
  • Bruising/bleeding at injection site

If you develop an ulcer or necrosis, your healthcare provider may delay the injection until the ulcer or necrosis is gone.

Report side effects

Kybella can cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider can send a report to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How much Kybella should I use?

Your healthcare provider will determine and give you the correct dose of Kybella.

Amendments

Pregnancy: The safety of Kybella in pregnant women is unknown. Contact your healthcare provider for instructions.

Breastfeeding: It is not known if deoxycholic acid is present in breast milk. Ask your health care provider what to do.

Children: The safety of Kybella in children is unknown.

Adults over 65: Clinical trials did not include enough people in this age group to see if they reacted differently from younger people. For this group, Kybella should be started at a lower dose.

Missed dose

Call your healthcare provider to find out what to do if you miss a dose.

Try to find ways that work for you to help you remember to keep your appointments and take your medications regularly.

Overdose: What happens if I inject too much Kybella?

Using too much Kybella may increase the risk of serious side effects.

What happens if I overdose on Kybella?

Call your doctor or poison control center right away if you think you or someone else may have ingested or taken an overdose of Kybella.

If anyone collapses or is not breathing after injecting Kybella, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Contents of the drug supplied and reviewed by

IBM Micromedex®

Your doctor will carefully monitor your progress while you receive this medicine.. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.

This medicine can cause nerve damage in the jaw. See your doctor right away if you have an uneven smile or facial muscle weakness.

Tell your doctor if you are using an antiplatelet drug (eg, aspirin) or a blood thinner (eg, warfarin). These drugs may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in the treatment area.

What are the reasons why I should not use Kybella?

Avoid taking Kybella if you have an infection at the injection sites or if you have trouble swallowing.

What other drugs interact with Kybella?

Some medications interact with Kybella. They can increase the risk of side effects, especially bleeding or bruising. Some medications to avoid are:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as:

  • Motrin (ibuprofen)
  • Voltaren (diclofenac)

Blood thinners such as:

  • Xarelto (rivaroxaban)
  • Pradaxa (dabigatran)
  • Eliquis (apixaban)

Which drugs are similar?

There are currently no other lypolytic drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Kybella used to treat?

    Kybella is used to improve the appearance of fat under the chin (double chin).

  • What are the common side effects of Kybella?

    Some common side effects include:

    • Swelling
    • Injection site bleeding
    • Redness
    • Numbness or hardened injection area
    • Headache
    • bruises

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Kybella?

    Talk to your health care provider.

How can I stay healthy while taking Kybella?

Although Kybella may be safe and effective in improving the appearance of a double chin, it may cause side effects such as headaches, numbness, bruising, or swelling. Talk to your healthcare provider if your side effects become bothersome or don’t go away.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health medication information is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your health care provider before taking any new medications. IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content as listed on the page.


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