Coming soon to a plastic surgeon near you -- a shot to get rid of that extra neck fat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an injection designed specifically to reduce unsightly double chins.
The FDA said Wednesday it had approved Kybella, a version of a naturally occurring compound called deoxycholic acid, which helps the body absorb fats.
“Treatment with Kybella should only be provided by a licensed health care professional, and patients should fully understand the risks associated with use of the drug before considering treatment,” FDA’s Dr. Amy Egan said in a statement.
“It is important to remember that Kybella is only approved for the treatment of fat occurring below the chin, and it is not known if Kybella is safe or effective for treatment outside of this area.”
California-based Kythera (pronounced KEE-ther-ah) hopes to use the drug to position itself as a medical "aesthetics" company - think cosmetic procedures akin to the widespread use of Botox.
The company says it will be available in June, after a training program.
"Once physicians are trained, they will be able to purchase Kybella and treat their patients," a spokesman told NBC News.
“Patients may receive up to 50 injections in a single treatment, with up to six single treatments administered no less than one month apart,” FDA said.
It's not painless—most patients in a clinical trial of the drug reported bruising, pain, numbness and swelling. A few reported scarier problems such as trouble swallowing, although it didn't last long.
And it's definitely not for everyone, cautions Dr. Michael Edwards, president of the Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
"My biggest concern is once it is approved, people will start to use it for other areas of the face or for larger volumes (of fat) in other areas," Edwards told NBC News.
— Maggie Fox
Reuters contributed to this story