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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

DOH Flags Injectable Glutathione For Whitening

The Department of Health (DOH) stated on Saturday that it does not support the use of injectable glutathione for skin whitening, according to a report from the Philippine News Agency.


Mariel Rodriguez Padilla, the wife of Senator Robin Padilla, came under fire recently for posting a photo showing her receiving a glutathione drip within the Senate premises. The aforementioned has since been deleted. I Screenshot: marieltpadilla Instagram



"Injectable glutathione is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Philippines as an adjunct treatment in cisplatin chemotherapy. The FDA has not approved any injectable products for skin lightening," the government wire service reported.


Cisplatin is an antineoplastic agent used to treat advanced cancer of the bladder, ovaries, or testicles.



In a statement, the agency reiterated FDA Circular No. 2019-182, which categorically stated that there are no published clinical trials evaluating the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening.


Additionally, the DOH mentioned that there are no published guidelines for appropriate dosing regimens and duration of treatment.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The DOH reminded the public that once the FDA approves a prescription drug for entry into the Philippine market, neither the DOH nor the FDA can regulate the practice of doctors who prescribe those drugs for their patients.


Physicians are authorized by their license to practice medicine granted by the Professional Regulation Commission.


Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

The FDA mentioned that injectable glutathione is sometimes paired with intravenous Vitamin C, which puts a person at risk of developing kidney stones if their urine is acidic. According to the FDA, side effects of using injectable glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.


Another concern is the possibility of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a rare and serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes that manifests in rashes, discolorations, and blisters.


Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

"Given that glutathione affects the production of melanin (the pigment that gives the human skin, hair, and eyes their color), there are theoretical concerns about the long-term skin cancer risk," it stated.


"Other potential risks include the transmission of infectious agents, such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis C and B. This is of particular concern when a non-medical practitioner administers this treatment or when it is done in a non-sterile facility," it added.


Health & lifestyle: Woman running and exercising over a bridge near the financial district.

If a person believes that injectable glutathione was wrongly prescribed by a physician, the DOH stated that patients can consult a practicing lawyer or the Public Attorney's Office for legal advice on matters such as medical negligence.


In cases of side effects due to the use of any drug, including injectable glutathione, the user is advised to seek medical attention immediately and report it to the FDA at pharmacovigilance@fda.gov.ph or call the Center for Drug Regulation and Research at (02) 8809-5596.




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