Deoxycholic Acid (Subcutaneous)

Introduction Sentence: Deoxycholic acid is used to treat moderate to severe fat between the chin to improve the appearance.


Deoxycholic acid is an artificial form of a substance that is naturally produced in the body. It is used by the body to absorb fats and it is used as a form of cosmetic treatment to reduce the size of fat pouches hanging beneath the chin.

Deoxycholic acid is injected under the skin into the fat beneath the chin to improve the appearance. It is used in cases where patients have moderate to severe fat pouches beneath the chin, which is commonly known as a double chin.

This treatment is provided as Kybella in a solution form that is injected beneath the skin of the chin. Use must only be carried out by a trained medical professional.

Condition treated

  • Fat deposits

Type of medicine

  • Cosmetic

Side effects

In addition to the desired effects of deoxycholic acid in reducing the size of fat deposits under the chin, Deoxycholic Acid can also have unwanted side effects in the patient. Consider these potential side effects before undergoing this treatment. While not all side effects may occur, in some cases where they do occur you may need to seek medical attention.

The following side effects would require you to seek immediate medical attention:

Occurring less commonly:

  • style="font-weight: 400;">Feeling of muscle weakness in the face
  • 400;">Headaches
  • Increased or decreased heartbeat
  • Pain in the mouth
  • Pain in the throat
  • Pounding sound in the ears
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Unevenness of the smile

Frequency of incidence not known:

  • Faintness or fainting
  • Neck pains
  • Swollen, tender or painful lymph glands of the neck

Other side effects can occur that would not require you to seek medical attention. These side effects will usually abate after a short period of time, but if they are ongoing or bothersome then you can consult your doctor for advice on how to alleviate the side effects:

  • Nausea

Patients will also often experience side effects at the site of the injection. These would not normally require medical attention, but you may wish to consult your doctor if they occur. Side effects at the injection site can include:

  • Warmth
  • Ulceration
  • Tingling
  • Tightness in the skin
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Stinging
  • Soreness
  • 400;">Scarring
  • Redness
  • Rash
  • Pain
  • Lumps
  • Itching
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • 400;">Hives
  • Feeling of pressure on the injection site
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Coldness
  • Burning
  • Bruising
  • Blistering
  • Bleeding

Other side effects can also occur from the use of Deoxycholic Acid. If you experience any other side effects you should inform your doctor and seek advice. If you believe your health to be at immediate risk, however, then you should contact your doctor immediately.


Before receiving treatment with Deoxycholic Acid you will be given a medication guide that details all of the risks and potential side effects of the treatment. You should read this carefully and take note of any pre and post-treatment steps to follow. You should discuss any concerns that you have with your doctor before use.

Deoxycholic Acid will be administered by a trained nurse or doctor. It will be injected into the fat under the skin beneath your chin. It may be used elsewhere on the body, but safe and effective use has not been established in other body parts.

Deoxycholic acid may need to be given at as many as 6 sessions for effective and visible results to occur. A patient may received up to 50 injections per session. Each of these sessions should be carried out no more than a month apart.

The dose for each patient will be determined by the doctor depending on the results desired and the amount of fat that needs to be treated.

Each injection will contain 0.2ml of treatment and no more than 10ml should be administered. Doses should be spaced a minimum of 1cm from one another.


Certain medications should not be used in conjunction with one another. In some cases they can interact in the body with serious consequences for the patient. In other cases medications may prevent one another from working properly or may increase the risk of certain side effects occurring or the severity of those side effects. You should always inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking before beginning a new treatment. This includes all prescription medications, all over the counter treatments, herbal remedies and even vitamin supplements. Before treatment with Deoxycholic acid it is particularly important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
'Any blood thinning medications such as:
o Warfarin
o Jantoven
o Coumadin
Any medications taken to prevent blood clots

Other medications can interact with Deoxycholic acid. These have been selected only for severity and you should inform your doctor of all treatments you are taking.

  • Other medical problems from which you suffer may also affect the use of Deoxycholic Acid. Some medical conditions can prevent certain treatments from working effectively, may increase the risk of side effects or may even be worsened by treatments for other conditions. You should inform your doctor of your full medical history before use and this is particularly important if you suffer from any of the following:
    These conditions may be worsened by treatment with Deoxycholic acid:
  • Bleeding problems
  • History of difficulty with swallowing

Patients with this condition should not be treated with Deoxycholic acid:

  • Infection under chin
  • Patients with the following conditions will be at greater risk of experiencing serious side effects:
  • Medical conditions around the neck or face
  • Previous cosmetic treatment or surgeries to the face, neck or chin areas.


Before deciding to undergo treatment with Deoxycholic Acid it is important that you consider the risks of doing so in relation the benefits that you will gain from use. You should make this decision in conjunction with your doctor and you should ensure that you have considered the following:

Allergies: If you have experienced allergic reations to medications before then this may prohibit treatment. Inform your doctor of all allergies from which you suffer.

Pediatric: Deoxycholic Acid is not for use in children and has not been tested for safety and efficiency.

Geriatric: No age-related limitations have been identified from the use of this treatment. Elderly patients are, however, more likely to have kidney, heart, liver and blood problems that may limit safe and effective use of the treatment.

Pregnancy: It is not known if Deoxycholic Acid can be harmful to a baby. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant. You may be advised against use during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding: The risks of breastfeeding whilst undergoing this treatment are unknown. Discuss this with your doctor and weigh the risks of doing so against the benefits of breastfeeding your child.

You will be monitored while you are receiving this treatment. This enables the doctor to see that it is effective and to check for unwanted side effects in order to determine whether continued use is advisable.

Nerve damage may occur in the jaw from the use of this treatment. If your smile becomes uneven or if you experience muscle weakness in the face then you should contact your doctor right away.

Do not take any medications that thin the blood during use. This may significantly increase the risk of bleeding and bruising to the injection areas. Deoxycholic Acid may not be suitable if you take long term blood thinning treatments.


Deoxycholic acid must be stored as detailed in the provided medication information.

Prolonged exposure and inhalation of Deoxycholic acid should be avoided.


Deoxycholic acid is a treatment used for cosmetic purposes. It is injected into the skin beneath the chin in order to break down the fat in the chin and reduce the size of a patient's double chin.

Treatment with this medication will require up to 50 injections to be administered per session over up to 6 sessions. Visible results will not normally occur until after the second or third treatment, but it may take all 6 sessions before visible effects are seen.

Deoxycholic Acid can have unwanted side effects in addition to the desired effects of removing fat from under the chin. There is a risk that patients may receive nerve damage under the jaw from treatment and this could cause the development of an uneven smile.

Before beginning this treatment you should ensure that you understand the potential risks of treatment and have weighed them against the benefits of undergoing this treatment.

Deoxycholic Acid may not be suitable if you have previously undergone cosmetic surgery or cosmetic treatments.

Deoxycholic Acid can only be administered by a trained healthcare professional and patients should always be closely monitored during and after use.

Deoxycholic acid can be used on other parts of the body but the safety and efficiency of use has not be fully established in other locations.

Last Reviewed:
January 28, 2018
Last Updated:
April 16, 2018