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Skin experts warn of the dangers of intravenous Glutathione or ‘gluta drip’

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2018

Image grabbed from pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — Many Filipinos are so much into the popularity of glutathione drip due to its skin-whitening effects.

But the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) recently released a statement warning the public of the possible dangers and side effects of getting a glutathione drip for the purpose of skin whitening.

The PDS said: “None of the systemic glutathione-containing products around the world has been approved for skin whitening” though it cited that the “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved oral glutathione products as nutritional supplements only.”

The PDS said that though glutathione products are “generally recognized as safe,” the safety of intravenous glutathione “as a skin whitener has not yet been firmly established.”

It emphasized that “injectable (intravenous/ “drips”) glutathione has only been approved as a drug to protect cancer patients from nerve side-effects of platinum-based chemotherapy.”

Though it has become a social craze, the PDS expressed concern about the various side effects that have been linked to glutathione-containing products when used as “skin whiteners” as reported by the FDA.

These side effects, ranging from mild to severe, include “acute renal failure, severe drug reactions such as generalized morbilliform eruption with angioedema and urticaria, vasculitis, anaphylactic shock and many documented side effects based on studies on IV glutathione used as skin whitening.”

Clinics and salons offering such procedure have mushroomed in various parts of the country, mostly administered by nurses or midwives.

Patrons like “Angela” seem unconvinced by the warning. She has been getting intravenous (IV) glutathione for more than a month now.

“Of course, gusto rin ma-boost ang energy, instant hydration ng skin then, of course, fast treatment kasi ng IV siya. Base naman sa (experience) ko wala naman akong allergic reaction, so okay naman sakin ang IV,” she said.

But like PDS, the Association of Dermatology and Aesthetic Nurses of the Philippines (ADANP) agrees that the use of IV glutathione must be placed under strict regulation.

According to Yuan Santiago, a registered nurse and the current president of ADANP, intravenous supplements such as glutathione drip, must be administered by qualified medical practitioners.

“Gusto natin ibigay sa pasyente natin na safe practice, ang competency ng gumagawa and at the same time safe practice of delivering the IV glutathione. Kumbaga kung ano talaga ang prescribe. Kasi wala ring mga prescription na ginagawa so kinakailangan mayroon din tayong mga doctor na qualified talaga na gumawa ng isang procedure katulad ng IV glutathione,” Santiago said.

Santiago added that unauthorized administration of such procedure may cost a nurse or a doctor his or her license. He or she can also be charged of medical malpractice which is penalized with a P10,000 fine and up to five years of jail term.

“Ang gobyerno, ang FDA, nandyan sila para tingnan ang ganitong bagay. Ang Philippine Dertamotological Society, ang doctors natin, kami naman ay sumusuporta sa ganyang larangan because we believe, ito ang isang aspeto kung saan mas mapagtitibay ang mga regulation sa paggamit ng glutathione, and of course for the safety of everyone,” Santiago noted.

As for Angela, though she believes in the positive benefits of intravenous glutathione, she said she still wants to ensure her safety and has now decided to consult her doctor for confirmation.

“Itutuloy ko pa rin kasi mayroon siyang health benefits pero kailangan ko pa rin to research about it and magpa-second opinion,” she concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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