The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) has warned against the sale and use of unregistered skin-lightening products better known as bleaching.
In a statement, MCAZ director general Richard Rukwata said there are no clinical trials that have evaluated the use of oral or injectable Glutathione for skin lightening.
“The MCAZ warns the public on the dangers associated with the use of skin-lightening products such as oral /injectable Glutathione and injectable Vitamins. To date, there are no published clinical trials that have evaluated the use of oral/injectable Glutathione and injectable Vitamins for skin lightening.
“There are also no published guidelines for appropriate dosing regimens and duration of treatment. Glutathione and Vitamins are registrable products. The MCAZ has not approved/registered any injectable products or such products for skin lightening,” said Rukwata
He said the authority raised concern said the use of these products was rampant in beauty salons.
“The Authority has noted with concern that several beauty salons, wellness, and beauty shops are offering all kinds of beauty enhancements, services, and skin treatments. It is alarming that these also offer services such as intravenous drips or infusions using skin-lightening agents including Glutathione tablets or injectables combined with injectable vitamins
“It is an offence to sell unregistered medicines without authorisation. As the Authority responsible for protecting public and animal health, MCAZ enforces adherence to the use of registered medicines and will exercise its statutory mandate against perpetrators of these criminal acts. Thus, in order to uphold this mandate, all medicines should be registered by the MCAZ prior to marketing and use,” he said
He said side effects of the use of injectable glutathione for skin lightening include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system and may include severe skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, hives or allergic reactions, weight gain, losing pigmentation of hair, eye infections and disorders.