Mariel Rodriguez not liable for IV drip use, says DOH

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Mariel Rodriguez not liable for IV drip use, says DOH
Mariel Rodriguez conducting an IV drip session in the Senate office of her husband Robin Padilla
Mariel Rodriguez via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines (Updated, Feb. 25, 2024, 1:31 a.m.)  — TV host and actress Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla will not be held legally responsible for using an unauthorized glutathione injectable within Senate premises.

Rodriguez-Padilla drew flak from netizens after receiving her intravenous (IV) drip from wellness provider "Drip in Luxe" while inside the office of her husband Sen. Robinhood Padilla.

"It’s more [of] an ethical issue. [It] means a doctor prescribed a drug as 'off label' use," said Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa in an online message with Philstar.com on Saturday.

"There is only a liability when there is harm. Which means the patient can sue the doctor that prescribed it," he added.

The Health chief compared it to Ozempic, a drug for diabetics being used by people who want to lose weight.

According to a post on Drip in Luxe's Instagram, their Beauty and Vitamin Drip "is formulated with Vitamin C, Glutathione, Antioxidants, Natural Collagen, Kojic Acid, Human Placenta Extract, Embryonic Stem Cell, Vitamin B Complex and Amino Acid."

Philstar.com earlier tried contacting Rodriguez-Padilla regarding the controversy but has yet to respond with a reply.

'Promoting something illegal'

Senate Ethics Committee chairperson Sen. Nancy Binay was bothered by Rodriguez-Padilla's action at the Senate, saying that the incident involves the issues of "conduct, integrity, and reputation of the Institution and matters that concern health and safety."

Binay likewise said that gluta drip was already declared unsafe by the DOH, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly already banning it. She also questioned how it was administered outside the clinic without the proper medical advice from licensed health professionals.

"As public figures, we should be more aware of our responsibilities to the public," she said in Filipino.

"We might be promoting something illegal. Let us remember our responsibilities, especially if your partner is a senator."

Suspected death linked to skin treatments

Last January, Herbosa cautioned the public from using IV glutathione for skin whitening, saying that it's not approved by the FDA. According to him, it's off-label use and illegal.

The DOH previously issued this statement in response to the death of a 39-year-old woman, who passed away within hours after receiving glutathione and stem cell therapy administered through IV last month.

The woman reportedly died due to complications from the therapy. According to the police, the victim had a chronic kidney disease.

Gluta drip side effects

In a 2019 advisory, the FDA clarified that the use of IV glutathione is only currently permitted as an adjust treatment in cisplatin chemotherapy.

However, several health and beauty salons, wellness spas and beauty clinics are said to be offering the aforementioned for beauty enhancements, services and skin treatments.

Among the side effects include "toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system [and] the possibility of Stevens Johnson Syndrome."

Injectable Vitamin C is also said to form kidney stones if the urine is acidic. In large doses, the injectable vitamin may result in hemodialysis in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.

"Given that glutathione affects the production of melanin (the pigment that gives the human skin, hair and eyes their color) — there are theoretical concerns about the long term skin cancer risk," the FDA said.

"To assure that your skin conditions are treated, consult only a board-certified dermatologist. Avoid buying injectable products online and from being lured to a promising effect of medicines as beauty products." — with reports from Ian Laqui

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