WHAT IS QWO®?
QWO is an exciting new tool in our fight against stubborn cellulite. It is the first treatment of its kind as an FDA-approved injectable cellulite treatment. Studies indicate that more than 90 percent of adult women have cellulite. This condition usually occurs in areas like the buttocks and the thighs. QWO is approved for the treatment of buttocks cellulite at this time. The dimples of cellulite are not a “fat problem,” as some people assume. Cellulite forms because the skin is tethered to underlying muscle via fibrous bands of connective tissue. These bands pull inward while fat protrudes outward. So, even thin women with body fat in a healthy range can see cellulite.
QWO is made of collagenase clostridium histolyticum. This purified bacterium chemically severs fibrous septae, releasing the skin to appear smoother and firmer.
HOW DOES QWO WORK?
QWO is in a class of its own when it comes to treating cellulite. This drug stimulates a process that is referred to as enzymatic subcision and remodeling. First, the enzyme in QWO degrades the Type i and Type III collagen that forms the fibrous septae that tug on the skin. Over the course of three treatment sessions, this enzyme continues to break down the septae until they break and release the skin. Next, the body responds to the effects of collagenase clostridium histolyticum with neocollagenesis, the formation of new collagen and remodeling of existing collagen in the skin. This results in improved thickness, another factor that influences the overall texture and firmness of the skin.
IS QWO A SURGICAL PROCEDURE?
No. QWO is the first drug to receive FDA approval as an injectable cellulite treatment. There is no need for anesthesia, no incisions, and no downtime needed for QWO to be comfortable and effective.
HOW DO I KNOW IF QWO IS RIGHT FOR ME?
QWO may be an excellent treatment option for women interested in a nonsurgical cellulite-reducing procedure. During clinical trials, QWO was used to treat cellulite in women of widely varying ages, different weight ranges, and varying skin tones. In these studies, QWO worked well on all participants with true cellulite. This is the key criterion that providers look for in interested patients. True cellulite is a dimple that is caused primarily by fibrous bands pulling in against fatty tissue. Sometimes, what look like cellulite dimples are really skin irregularities caused by laxity in the epidermis and dermis. Laxity is a common effect of aging and the decline of collagen beneath the skin. In addition to discussing goals and concerns during the consultation, the provider will also observe the skin to ensure that dimples are true cellulite. We do not recommend QWO unless we believe it will achieve a positive outcome.
QWO is safe and effective for most adults. However, there are a few exclusions. This treatment is not approved for men, for women who are pregnant or nursing, nor for people with bleeding disorders. Patients should alert their medical provider about all medications and supplements they are taking when consulting about QWO treatment. It is especially important for the provider to know if anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications are being taken.
QWO BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
CAN QWO BE USED TO TREAT CELLULITE IN OTHER AREAS BESIDES THE BUTTOCKS?
Currently, QWO is approved only for use in the buttocks. As with many FDA-approved drugs, doctors may eventually administer QWO for off-label uses. However, the manufacturer is currently conducting clinical studies for the use of QWO in the thigh area. These studies are essential to determine the proper dosing, number of treatments, and injection technique for this target area.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Clinical studies determined that the best treatment schedule for QWO is a series of three appointments, each scheduled three weeks apart. Injections are administered in the office after the provider has marked the skin while the patient is standing. This maps the most efficient injection sites. Once the skin is marked, the patient lies down comfortably on the treatment table for the brief set of injections. A QWO appointment may take 30 minutes or less.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS OF QWO?
Patients who receive QWO injections do not require downtime to recover. However, they should expect bruising as a primary side effect. In clinical trials, more than 75% of the participants treated with QWO developed significant bruising after their first round of injections. Bruising did not correlate with pain; the side effect looks worse than it feels. It is believed that bruising could be the result of the effects of the collagen-degrading enzyme on blood vessels in the treatment area. Temporary bruising could be caused by a small amount of blood leaking from superficial blood vessels into surrounding tissue. Bruising is expected to fade in 10 to 14 days. The side effect is much subtler after subsequent visits than it is after the initial treatment.
WHERE IS QWO AVAILABLE?
QWO has been FDA approved for use in clinical settings across the United States. Treatment should be provided only by a licensed, board-certified professional who has received appropriate training to administer this drug.
SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY!
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not receive QWO if you: are allergic to collagenase or to any of the ingredients in QWO, or have an active infection at the treatment area.
QWO may cause serious side effects, including:
- Allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions, including anaphylaxis. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have hives, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, swollen face, chest pain, dizziness or fainting after receiving QWO;
- Injection site bruising
Before receiving QWO, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Have a bleeding problem
- Are pregnant or may become pregnant, nursing or plan to nurse. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will receive QWO or breastfeed.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-thecounter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take a medicine that prevents the clotting of your blood (antiplatelet or anticoagulant).
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.
These are not all the possible side effects of QWO. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.
Click for Full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information for QWO.