MANILA—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday said it has "not approved any injectable products for skin lightening," warning consumers of the "toxic side effects" linked to their use.
In a statement posted on its website, the FDA said it was "alarming" that businesses are offering services such as "intravenous drip or infusion" using glutathione, vitamin C and other agents to alter a person's skin pigment.
The FDA, an agency under the Department of Health, added that there are "no published clinical trials" assessing the use of injectable agents, and "no published guidelines" on dosage and treatment duration.
"The FDA has not approved any injectable products for skin lightening," the agency said.
"Injectable glutathione is approved by FDA Philippines as an adjunct treatment in cisplatin chemotherapy."
According to the FDA, such skin-lightening agents could have toxic effects on the liver, the kidneys, and the nervous system. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a serious skin disorder, could also occur, the FDA added.
Meanwhile, Vitamin C injection, according to the agency, could form kidney stones if the person's urine is acidic.
The FDA called on the public to consult only FDA-certified dermatologists concerning skin conditions. It also warned consumers against buying injectable products online.
For those seeking immediate medical attention for side effects, the FDA said it can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through fda.gov.ph.
The Center for Drug Regulation and Research can also be contacted at telephone number (632) 809-5596.