Recently, a new injection, Kybella was approved by the FDA for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of double chins. Kybella was developed by Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, and is a non-human, non-animal formula of deoxycholic acid, which is a molecule that occurs naturally within the human body.
The results of the Kybella trials have been positive. During the trials, 1,022 patients participated with 514 receiving Kybella, and the other 508 receiving a placebo.
In those receiving Kybella, which went by the name ATX-101 during the trials, more than 68 percent reported at least a one-point improvement. The patient- and clinician-reported Submental Fat Rating Scale was used during the trial. This scale uses a 0 through 4 rating scale.
Alternatively, among those receiving the placebo group, only 20.5 percent reported an improvement. Additional figures show that 16 percent of the group receiving Kybella reported an improvement of two or more points. This is in comparison with 1.5 percent of the placebo group.
Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director of the Laser Lipo and Vein Center says, “Some people may ask whether liposuction would be a better choice?” He says that the answer is that “many people just don’t want to undergo surgery and are looking for a procedure that is non-surgical.”
The trial did show some side effects including pain, bruising, numbness, and swelling. However, these were transient and were considered part of the injection-type treatment. During the trials, 4 percent of the patients did experience facial nerve injuries that caused muscle weakness or an uneven smile. However, these symptoms resolved themselves.
The ideal patient for Kybella treatments are those with a mild to moderate double chin, who does not have a heavy or full neck. Typical patients will also be between 30 to 50 years of age. Those who are older may require treatments that are too extensive for Kybella. Candidates should also have good skin elasticity.
Patients should keep in mind that it can take a month between injections for true effects to be seen.
Many physicians who have studied Kybella think that this treatment may offer other potential uses beyond treating double chins. This thought is similar to those off-label uses for products such as Botox.
It is important to note that the FDA has cautioned the currently Kybella is only approved for double-chin fat treatment.