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Lipodissolve and similar treatments use two chemicals, phosphatidylcholine, or PC, and sodium dioxycholate, or DC. Those chemicals occur naturally in the human body, but that doesn't necessarily make them safe, said Lenox Hill Hospital plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Walden.
"They are used in the metabolic process of our bodies to break down fat, but they were never intended to be extracted, mixed with other ingredients and reinjected to break down fat," said Walden.
Phosphatidylcholine is found in the FDA-approved drug Infasurf, which is used to treat respiratory problems in premature infants, according to the FDA.
According to Walden, lipodissolve injections are often performed by beauty care specialists who have little or no medical training.
Lipodissolve formulations are usually mixed at medical spas through a process called compounding, in which a pharmacist combines multiple drugs to create a new formulation, Walden said. The FDA does not regulate the practice of medicine and declined to discuss drug compounding.
"We're not aware of where these spas are getting their drugs, therefore we cannot comment on the issue of compounding this product," said FDA pharmacist Samia Nasr.
The FDA urged physicians who are using the drugs cosmetically to submit an approval application for regulatory review.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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