Belkyra (deoxycholic acid) is a medication used to dissolve subcutaneous fat tissue. It is a cell-dissolving drug that destroys cell membranes. When injected correctly into the subcutaneous fat layer, it can destroy fat cells and reduce the thickness of the fat layer. However, due to its cell-dissolving action, it has the potential to damage surrounding tissue, including blood vessels, nerve lines, and the surface layer of the skin.
The most common side effects are related to the injection site, including pain, swelling, bloating, numbness, hard lumps, bruising, itching, and more. It may also damage the marginal mandibular branch, which is close to the lower jaw area, and may cause facial muscle weakness or an asymmetric smile. However, nerve damage is usually temporary and can self-recover. When injected into the superficial skin, it may cause skin ulcers, which usually heal on their own. The most worrying side effect is difficulty swallowing and breathing, but fortunately, these are generally not severe and will self-heal.
Patients generally wonder if the drug will remain in the body and cause side effects. How is the drug excreted after injection? Deoxycholic acid is a substance that exists in the human body and is used to digest and absorb fat. Deoxycholic acid exists in the blood and is mostly within the enterohepatic circulation system. Studies have found that when deoxycholic acid is injected subcutaneously, even at the recommended maximum single treatment dose of 100mg, it reaches the maximum plasma concentration 6 minutes after injection and then declines. Even at the maximum plasma concentration, it is only twice the normal plasma value. In fact, deoxycholic acid will be added to its own endogenous bile acid pool and excreted together with them into the intestine, some of which will be lost through excretion. Therefore, drugs with the same compound as one of the bile salts in the human body are safe injection agents.
Who should not receive Belkyra treatment? Belkyra should not be used in people who are known to be sensitive to Belkyra; injection is not recommended if the injection site is inflamed; and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not be injected because there is no clinical data to confirm safety for them. To ensure the safety of injection, it is recommended to have trained doctors perform the injection.