deoxycholic acid (Kybella)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is deoxycholic acid Kybella, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Deoxycholic acid (Kybella) is an injectable medication used for reducing fat in the submental region of the face (below the chin). Deoxycholic acid destroys the cell membrane of fat cells causing fat cells to die. Reducing the number of fat cells reduces fat under the chin. It should not be injected in other tissues because it also destroys other cells. In clinical studies 43% of people who received deoxycholic acid achieved a 10% reduction in submental fat volume after six or fewer treatment. Only 5% of people who received placebo achieved a 10% reduction in submental fat. Deoxycholic acid was approved by the FDA in April, 2015.

What brand names are available for deoxycholic acid Kybella?


Is deoxycholic acid Kybella available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for deoxycholic acid Kybella?


What are the side effects of deoxycholic acid Kybella?

Side effects of deoxycholic acid include:

Injecting deoxycholic acid outside the submental area can cause damage to surrounding tissues. Injecting deoxycholic acid into the dermis may cause skin ulceration. Injecting deoxycholic acid into or in close proximity to the facial nerve may cause asymmetric smile and facial muscle weakness.

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