The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned the public on the use of injectable skin lightening agents such as glutathione. Accordingly, the FDA has not approved any injectable products for skin lightening and that injectable glutathione is only approved by FDA Philippines as an adjunct treatment in cisplatin chemotherapy.

The advisory signed July 5, 2019 came after receiving reports that many health and beauty salons, wellness spa and beauty clinics are offering services such as intravenous drip or infusion using skin lightening agents including reduced glutathione, vitamin C and other injections. The FDA stated that to date there are no published clinical trials that have evaluated the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening. There are also no published guidelines for appropriate dosing regimens and duration of treatment.

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The FDA further stated that side effects on the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. Also of concern is the possibility of Stevens Johnson Syndrome. Injectable glutathione is sometimes paired with intravenous Vitamin C. Vitamin C injection may form kidney stones if the urine is acidic. Large doses of Vitamin C have resulted in hemodialysis in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

FDA advises the public to consult only a board-certified dermatologist and avoid buying injectable products online and from being lured to a promising effect of medicines as beauty products.

Read the full text of the advisory below.

Read related article by the US Food and Drug Administration below.

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