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Fat-Busting Injections Under Scrutiny

Controversy surrounds a treatment that promises to dissolve fat with a series of injections.

Is It Really Lipodissolve?

As if the waters weren't murky enough, recently another iron was tossed into the fat-burning fire -- a controversy surrounding the term "lipodissolve" itself.

According to a group calling itself the American Society of Aesthetic Lipodissolve (ASAL), Lipodissolve (the treatment) is a trade name of a standardized protocol and products they claim have been tested for safety and efficacy.

The problem is that the term Lipodissolve has taken on a bit of generic meaning. In much the way the trade name Kleenex is often substituted for the word "tissue," ASAL claims "Lipodissolve" is being inappropriately used to describe garden-variety fat-busting injections.

To make their point, ASAL has launched several litigation suits attempting to stop the use of the trade name "Lipodissolve" by all unauthorized users. 

Whether these lawsuits have merit remains to be seen. But Narins says the fact that they are being pursued should make you stop and think twice before submitting to treatment. "Even when you think you know what you are getting with this procedure, you don't really know what you are getting -- another reason to wait until we have legitimate medical research before participating in this treatment," she says.

Considering Fat-Busting Injections?

The good news is that several clinical trials on fat-busting injections are under way. Beginning this month, Goldberg reports that his office, along with several other centers nationwide, are beginning a major study for a company that has the intention of submitting data to the FDA for a new drug approval. The ultimate goal: to provide the data necessary for the manufacture of a regulated fat-busting injection.

Unfortunately, however, reports are it will be at least two years or more before the studies are completed and drugs approved.

In the meantime, if you do try this treatment, the experts we interviewed offered these suggestions.

  1. Have your treatment performed by a doctor or by a trained physician's assistant or nurse with a doctor on the premises.
  2. Have your treatment done in a medical environment to ensure sterility and infection control.
  3. Be realistic about your expectations. At best this procedure is meant to "sculpt" areas of the body, not drop you down two jean sizes.
  4. Inform the doctor doing your treatment of any drug allergies or other medical conditions.
  5. Avoid fat-busting injections if you suffer from HIV, hepatitis C, active cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, bleeding disorders, diabetes, thyroid disorders, or if you are pregnant or nursing. You should also use caution if you suffer from heart disease, a cardiac rhythm abnormality, or if you have a history of blood clots or strokes.
  6. Report any signs of infection following treatment to your doctor. These include pain, swelling, or redness at the site of injection, fever, aches and pains, or headaches.
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