FDA approves Qwo for treatment of cellulite


The Food and Drug Administration has approved collagenase clostridium histolyticum–aaes (Qwo, Endo International) for the treatment of moderate to severe cellulite in the buttocks of adult women. The drug is the first injectable treatment for cellulite to receive regulatory approval.

FDA icon Wikimedia Commons/FitzColinGerald/ Creative Commons License

In cellulite, fibrous septae are a primary contributing factor. The septae make up the fibrous connective tissue that connects the skin perpendicularly to the fascia below and tether the skin, drawing it downward and leading to a mattress-like appearance, commonly referred to as “dimpling.” When injected into the treatment area, Qwo is thought to release the fibrous septae enzymatically by specifically targeting types 1 and 3 collagen, which may result in smoothing of the skin and an improved appearance of cellulite.

The most common side effects of Qwo include injection site bruising, pain, areas of hardness, itching, redness, discoloration, swelling, and warmth in the treatment area.

Qwo is expected to be available throughout the United States at aesthetic health care practitioner’s offices starting in Spring 2021.

“Qwo could be a game-changer for many women with cellulite,” Anne Chapas, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York, said in a press release. “I am thrilled there will now be an FDA-approved injectable treatment option proven to address a root cause of cellulite. What is exciting about Qwo is that it is a cutting-edge cellulite treatment, without the cutting,” Dr. Chapas, said.

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