How Long Does Kybella Take To Work?

Summary: How long does Kybella take to work under normal circumstances? It’s a common question because Kybella isn’t necessarily like other injectables where you see results immediately. And sometimes the first results are subtle, so it can be hard to gage when Kybella is “working.” So let’s take a look at what’s actually going on with Kybella and how long you can expect to wait before seeing results.

A New Injectable: How Long Does Kybella Take to Work?

Kybella has been on the market for a number of years now, and has been hailed since its introduction for its ability to minimize fat. But how long does Kybella take to work for most patients? The lag between injections and peak results isn’t always well marketed, so many patients are surprised that fat mitigation is not instant. The truth is that Kybella can often take several weeks to reveal the final results.

That has something to do with how Kybella works. And in that regard, it’s possible that most of the media stories about Kybella are so excited about the results that they sometimes gloss over the waiting period.

That’s not all that surprising. Kybella’s results are what grab the headlines, and that’s fair because those results offer something that people have been after for a long, long time. Kybella is a way to get rid of fat without diet, without exercise, without surgery. In some ways, it couldn’t be easier: you go in, you get a few injections, and the fat disappears. That Kybella targets a particularly problematic area of the body–both in terms of controlling that area and in terms of how society views that area–is icing on the cake. How long does Kybella take to work? Many patients won’t care, as long as Kybella does indeed work.

How Does Kybella Do Its Thing?

Kybella is, in my humble estimation, a pretty clever injectable. It uses a synthetic formulation of a drug-busting compound already found in your body. This synthetic version, called deoxycholic acid, is molecule-for-molecule identical to what’s found naturally in the human body. Deoxycholic acid, in humans, is responsible for breaking down fat cells.

So you can see how this might work. By injecting a relatively large concentration of deoxycholic acid into the target area, Kybella effectively encourages the breakdown of fat cells. As the fat cells break down and are absorbed into the body, the visible fat begins to disappear as well. In the case of Kybella, the target is usually the chin.

Indeed, Kybella is FDA approved only to treat submental fat–that is, excess fat located around the jawline. You probably know this type of fat as the so-called “double chin.” Kybella injections have been shown to mitigate the double chin in patients. But only in those patients where the double chin is actually caused by fat (in some cases, the appearance of a double chin is caused by excess skin, something that Kybella is not designed to treat).

Benefits of Kybella

There are several distinct benefits to Kybella injections:

  • Patients can avoid liposuction procedures, which require an extensive recovery period in many cases. Many patients may deem liposuction for the chin “not worth it,” due to that recovery period. Kybella is an excellent means of achieving results for just such patients.
  • Kybella does not take long to perform. Patients can typically complete a session for injections in under thirty minutes.
  • There is only minimal recovery time associated with Kybella injections. Most patients are able to return to normal activities the same day that they got their injections. This is not the case for procedures such as liposuction.

How Long Until You See Results?

If Kybella is going to work for you, you’ll likely notice that within a few weeks of your initial injection. Your Kybella results will typically reach their peak somewhere around the six week mark. Patients will respond with a certain amount of normal variability, of course, so your results may peak somewhat sooner or later.

Kybella results will typically last for years, especially if the patient is conscious about their diet. Now, Kybella isn’t a miracle drug. It’s not going to make you look fit no matter what. And there are some patients who simply do not respond to Kybella no matter what.

But for the vast majority of patients who are trying to eliminate a problem caused by fat, Kybella is a remarkably effective injectable. It’s not shocking that the manufacturers of Kybella are likely pursuing FDA approval for treating other areas of the body. So what Kybella might be approved for in the future is anyone’s guess. But this injectable is pretty popular. And waiting six weeks to see your double chin recede seems like a not unreasonable timeline.

How long does it take Kybella to work? Right now about six weeks. But what the future holds for Kybella is wide open.


  • “What Is KYBELLA®? | KYBELLA®.” Kybella,
  • Edgar, Jolene. “Why Some Top Plastic Surgeons Are Questioning the Effectiveness of Kybella.” Allure, Allure Magazine,
  • Lopez, Lindsey Hunter. “I Tried the Injection That Melts a Double Chin.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 14 June 2017,
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Comments (1)

  1. Thanks for sharing this article about Kybella. I have never heard about this and I really like it when I learn something new. Great read indeed!

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