What You Should Know
Lipostabil® is a brand name of a compounded drug that is injected into localized fat deposits around the body with the intent to dissolve and release them. The procedure itself is usually called Lipo-dissolve and is offered by weight loss and cosmetic surgery clinics. The procedure is intended to be less invasive and painful than liposuction, where fat deposits are physically pulled out of the body through incisions. The fat deposits dissolve over the course of several treatments. It is thought that the dissolved fat is excreted with feces and urine, but there appears to be no clinical proof of how the procedure works and what happens to the fat.
Lipostabil and other lipo-dissolve “drugs” are a combination of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate (PCDC). PC is a soy-based compound that occurs naturally in human cells. DC is bile salt produced by the liver. DC helps to keep PC in solution so as not to separate. Because PCDC is put together or compounded by different pharmacists, who sometimes include other ingredients in the mix, the ratio of the two substances can be different. There are no standardization rules for Lipostabil.
There is significant controversy about both the effectiveness and the safety of Lipostabil. The FDA has been investigating the procedure for several years and is currently of the opinion that it represents a non-approved drug being used for non-approved purposes. Several states have banned the procedures altogether. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery have all released health warnings related to the Lipostabil or lipo-dissolve procedure. Clinics that use Lipostabil are of the opinion that the product falls under allowable compounding by pharmacists and does not have to be an FDA approved drug.
Whether allowed by the FDA or not, the main issue with Lipostabil appears to be that there are no credible clinical trials supporting the effectiveness of the procedure or even being able to explain the biological basis for how it works. Because it is not considered a “drug”, side effects and adverse reactions to the procedures do not have to be reported to the FDA, so any potential dangers remain largely unknown.
Fat melting medication.
- May work to dissolve and release localized fat deposits in the body.
- Not an FDA-approved drug.
- No conclusive clinical trials supporting the effectiveness or the safety of the drug.
- The combination of drugs may differ from pharmacist to pharmacist.
- Little information available regarding how the product works.
- Injections can be uncomfortable or even painful.
- Treatments are expensive compared with other weight loss and fat burning/alternatives.
Lipostabil and lipo-dissolve procedures simply do not have the clinical credibility to be widely accepted in the weight loss community. With the number of medical warnings about the procedure, it is impossible to recommend it as a viable weight loss method.