FDA Warns Against Unapproved “Lipo Injections” Sold Online, Citing Serious Side Effects

24 December 2023

The FDA cautions against the use of fat-dissolving injections that are not FDA approved, as they can lead to severe health complications.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning regarding the use of popular spa treatments known as “lipo injections.” These injections, which claim to reduce fat deposits in problem areas, are being sold online under various brand names without FDA approval. The FDA has received reports of individuals experiencing serious side effects after receiving these unregulated injections at unlicensed beauty spas or self-administering them. The adverse reactions include permanent scars, infections, skin deformities, cysts, and painful knots at the injection sites.

The Dangers of Unapproved Injections

The FDA has identified several fat-dissolving injections available online, such as Aqualyx, Lipodissolve, Lipo Lab, Kabelline, and more, that have not been evaluated or approved by the agency. These injections often contain ingredients like phosphatidylcholine (PPC) and sodium deoxycholate (DC), which can pose serious health risks since their safety has not been regulated. Individuals who have used these unapproved products have reported severe complications, including permanent scarring and infections. The FDA emphasizes the importance of consulting a health professional before trying any medical spa treatments and warns against purchasing such products online.

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Expert Insights on the Matter

Krystal Roney-Smith, a master aesthetic nurse practitioner and owner of Lush RX Med Spa in Houston, stresses the need for due diligence when considering these types of treatments. Roney-Smith advises individuals to choose licensed and trained professionals who work in reputable establishments with positive reviews and credentials. She highlights that Kybella, an FDA-approved injection that destroys fat cells, is the only safe and regulated option for addressing specific concerns like the “double chin.” Roney-Smith warns against the use of unapproved injections containing acids and emphasizes the importance of seeking treatment from qualified professionals.

The Importance of Safety and Regulation

The rise in popularity of med spas has led to an increase in the availability of cosmetic treatments. However, the FDA cautions that not all med spas adhere to the necessary safety regulations. Roney-Smith emphasizes that a med spa should be staffed by licensed professionals who are trained to perform procedures safely. She urges individuals to exercise caution and avoid falling for treatments that seem too good to be true. The FDA advises against purchasing any medical spa treatments online and encourages individuals to consult with healthcare professionals before considering such products.


The FDA’s warning against unapproved “lipo injections” highlights the potential dangers associated with these treatments. The use of unregulated products can lead to severe side effects, including permanent scarring and infections. It is crucial for individuals to conduct thorough research and choose licensed professionals who work in reputable establishments. The FDA emphasizes the importance of seeking medical advice before trying any medical spa treatments and warns against purchasing such products online. By prioritizing safety and regulation, individuals can make informed decisions about their cosmetic procedures and minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

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