‘Inviting harm’: Public warned vs gluta drip after Mariel Padilla post

February 23, 2024 - 1:25 PM
Mariel Padilla’s deleted Instagram post.

Is an intravenous (IV) glutathione worth taking?

Gluta drip once again became a topic online after television host Mariel Padilla proudly shared of having a session inside the Senate office of her husband.

In a now-deleted Instagram post, the wife of Sen. Robinhood Padilla shared photos of her receiving gluta through IV while the lawmaker can be spotted behind her.

“Drip in anywhere is our motto! Hehehe (laughing-with-tears emoji). I had an appointment with @dripinluxeph but I was going to be late, so I had it done in my husband’s office, hehe,” she wrote.

“I never miss a drip because it really helps in sooooo many ways. Collagen production, whitening, energy, metabolism, immunity and soooo much more!!! So convenient and really effective. Magaling talaga,” Mariel added.

Her post has since been removed after drawing flak on social media. Some online users accused Mariel of lacking “delicadeza” or a sense of propriety after conducting a gluta drip session in a Senate office.

Two physicians and a lawyer also chimed in on the issue.

Lawyer Chel Diokno reminded Filipinos that last month, a 39-year-old woman died hours after receiving gluta drip and stem cell treatments.

He also cited the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines Advisory No. 2019-182 which warns the public about “the dangers associated with the use of injectable lightening agents such as glutathione.”

Diokno, citing the advisory, likewise enumerated some of the side effects of using gluta drip as skin whitening, which include toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system, illnesses relating to the skin, and infections like HIV and Hepatitis C and B.

“Aprubado lang ng FDA ang treatment for gluta drip as treatment for advanced cancer at kailangan ng prescription ng doktor para magamit ito,” he said.

The lawyer reminded salons, spas and other beauty clinics that distributing unregistered health products violates the Food and Drug Administration Act or Republic Act 9711.

Dermatologist Erin Tababa-Santos, also known online as “The Nerdy Derma,” additionally warned the public against the usage of gluta drip for skin whitening.

“The audacity to post the post is just (emojis of exploding head and angry face). That aside, the claims written regarding gluta IV are questionable!!!!” she exclaimed.

“Walang reliable (plus) consistent data na nagsasabing nakakaputi ang glutathione. Hindi alam ang long-term safety ng IV use nito. Ibang klase talaga,” the dermatologist added.

Physician Harold Chiu likewise warned the public that what Mariel did was “inviting harm.”

“The Senate office is not a suitable place. Definitely not adequately prepared in case a severe anaphylaxis and drug reaction occurs,” he wrote with warning and exclamation emojis.

A severe anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that can happen “seconds to minutes” after someone has been exposed to something they are allergic to.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the immune system in anaphylaxis “releases a flood of chemicals that can cause the body to go into shock.”

“Blood pressure drops suddenly, and the airways narrow, blocking your breathing. The pulse may be fast and weak, and you may have a skin rash. You may also get nauseous and vomit,” it said.

The medical center warned that anaphylaxis is “life-threatening,”  adding that it could be deadly if one is not injected with epinephrine.

In 2018, the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) also warned the public against using gluta for skin whitening.

Dermatologist Elle Asuncion said that at that time, there was still no strong evidence that glutathione was an effective skin-whitening agent.

“None of the systemic glutathione-containing products around the world has been approved for skin whitening. High-quality clinical trials are needed to prove its efficacy as a skin whitener. Its safety as a skin whitener has not yet been firmly established,” she said before.

A PDS study has documented that at least 69 patients suffered from complications due to IV glutathione use. These include dizziness, increased blood sugar, easy bruising, difficulty in breathing and gastritis.

In the worst case, a 34-year-old patient suffered from acute renal failure after a “weekly infusion” of gluta drip for three years.

RELATED: The real deal with Glutathione-drips and why a lawmaker is under fire