When Kybella was launched in the US, the hype around it was immense. On its website, it says that KYBELLA ® (deoxycholic acid) injection is indicated for improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe convexity or fullness associated with submental fat in adults. At the time of its arrival, it was only approved for the submental fat or double chin area but even from the beginning, there were murmurs about what Kybella could be used for eventually. While there are no approved uses of Kybella on other areas of the body, there are plenty of off-label uses that are gaining some attention from injectors and their patients.
Kybella is currently used on the neck, or the double chin region, a portion of the body that previously could only be treated with liposuction or other surgical tucks. Because of it’s fat dissolving properties, some experienced doctors and injectors are beginning to experiment with the effects of Kybella in other “fatty” areas. Some have found that injecting Kybella around the “love handles,” the “saddlebags” or the area around the waist, and the superficial fat on the anterior abdomen can yield potential positive results in their patients. Other areas of treatment include the armpit pooches and back fat including the bra bulge.
For off label use of Kybella, it is important to have the right patient with the right body weight. It’s typically for people who are almost at their ideal weight but are having trouble eliminating fat in problem areas, no matter how much they exercise or no matter what they eat.
The downside to using Kybella for the treatment of fat in other areas of the body is that it requires multiple treatments, and can get expensive. Not to mention, because the use of Kybella in other areas is not FDA approved, there are risks involved, especially if the patient has an adverse effect. The patient needs to be aware that this is an “off-label” use and the consent form should indicate this as well. Injectors should check with their liability insurance before administering Kybella in other areas. While many professionals have found the off label use of Kybella to help smooth out these small contour irregularities on the body, it is important to fully understand the treatment, potential effects, outcomes, and timeline.
Many experienced doctors and professionals are experimenting with off-label use of Kybella and recording their data to bring to the FDA. This will hopefully lead to an FDA approval of Kybella in other areas besides the neck. The potential for its greater use could be very beneficial for injectors and their patients.