Deoxycholic Acid

Generic name: deoxycholic acid
Brand name: Kybella
Dosage form: subcutaneous solution (10 mg/mL)
Drug class: Miscellaneous uncategorized agents

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is deoxycholic acid?

Deoxycholic Acid is a prescription medicine that is used to improve the look of fat below the chin (double chin).


KYBELLA (deoxycholic acid) injection, 10 mg/mL is a clear colorless, sterile solution for subcutaneous use.  It contains a cytolytic agent, deoxycholic acid, as the active ingredient.  The chemical name of deoxycholic acid is 3α,12α-dihydroxy-5β-cholan-24-oic acid, and its molecular formula is C24H40O4, and its molecular weight is 392.57 g/mol. The chemical structure of deoxycholic acid is:

The chemical structure of deoxycholic acid.

Each 2 mL vial of KYBELLA injection contains 20 mg synthetic deoxycholic acid as the active ingredient and the following inactive ingredients: benzyl alcohol (18 mg), dibasic sodium phosphate (2.84 mg), sodium chloride (8.76 mg), sodium hydroxide (2.86 mg) in water for injection, USP. Hydrochloric acid and additional sodium hydroxide are added as necessary to adjust the formulation to pH 8.3.  Each vial is for single patient use.

 Mechanism of Action

KYBELLA injection is a cytolytic drug, which when injected into tissue physically destroys the cell membrane causing lysis.

Before taking deoxycholic acid, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to deoxycholic acid; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have an infection where the shot will be given.
  • If you have ever had trouble swallowing.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with deoxycholic acid.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take deoxycholic acid with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take deoxycholic acid?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take deoxycholic acid. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Some people have had hair loss where the injection was given. If you have hair loss where the injection was given, talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine is not approved for use in children. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using deoxycholic acid while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is deoxycholic acid best taken?

Use deoxycholic acid as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
  • Your doctor will give deoxycholic acid.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are the side effects of deoxycholic acid that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Face muscle weakness or uneven smile.
  • Very bad irritation where the shot was given.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Skin ulcers and death of skin tissue near the injection site have happened when deoxycholic acid was given into the wrong part of the skin. Call your doctor right away if you have skin sores or ulcers; drainage; or pain, color, or temperature change where the injection was given.

What are some other side effects of deoxycholic acid?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Bleeding where the shot is given.
  • Area that feels hard, numbness, or bruising where the shot was given.
  • Redness or swelling where the shot is given.
  • Pain where the shot was given.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Headache.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out deoxycholic acid?

  • If you need to store deoxycholic acid at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.




  • kybella™
    (deoxycholic acid) injection 10 mg/mL
    20 mg/2 mL
    (10 mg/mL)
    for subcutaneous use only
    Rx ONLY

Principal Display Panel kybella™ (deoxycholic acid) injection 10 mg/mL 20 mg/2 mL (10 mg/mL) for subcutaneous use only Rx ONLY