FDA warns public vs injectable glutathione for skin lightening

/ 08:59 PM July 08, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public of the dangers associated with the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening.

In an advisory dated July 5, the FDA said it has yet to approve any injectable products for skin lightening and that FDA Philippines had approved injectable glutathione only “as an adjunct treatment in cisplatin chemotherapy.”


“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,” FDA said.

It also explained that users of injectable glutathione may experience side effects such as toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.


Further, the FDA noted that if the treatment is done by a non-medical practitioner in a non-sterile facility, it may result in the transmission of infectious agents such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

“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 deficiency,” the FDA said.

“Given that glutathione affects the production of melanin (the pigment that gives human skin, hair and eyes their color) — there are theoretical concerns about the long term skin cancer risk,” it added.

FDA then advised the public to consult with board-certified dermatologists and avoid buying injectable products online. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

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