The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has warned the public over the use of injectable glutathione to lighten the skin.

In a caution statement on the unsafe use of the product, the FDA said injectable glutathione affects the production of the pigment that gives the human skin its color (melanin).

The Authority said no injectable glutathione or any other injectable skin lightening agent had been approved by the FDA for such use.

It further noted that there was no clinical evidence on the safety and effectiveness of such products neither were there published guidelines for the correct dosing and duration of treatment.

“Injectable glutathione posed significant safety risk to users with its side effects including toxicity on the liver, kidneys and nervous system, and a serious skin reaction known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome,” it said.

The statement said glutathione when used for a long time, may increase the risk of skin cancer.

“Unapproved products not properly evaluated by the FDA may be improperly manufactured and may contain unknown harmful ingredients or contaminants.

Apart from the dangers of the product itself, administering it under unsterile conditions or by people who are not certified to administer injectable preparations is unsafe and may lead to transmission of diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C,” it said.

The statement advised consumers to seek the help of certified medical professionals for any skin conditions and avoid buying injectable medicinal products online or from unauthorized or unqualified professionals.

It urged the public to report the sale of glutathione injectable products or any unregistered products to the FDA on 0551112224/0551112226 or on twitter; fdaghana, Facebook; Fdaghana and at fda@fda.gov.gh.