Do Anti-inflammatory Medicines Affect the "Fat Cell Death Rate" in Zeltiq?

I was wondering, since the fat dies as a result of inflammation due to a response to cold, if taking Motrin, etc, would have a negative effect on the results? Any other ideas you have to maximize results of the treatment would be welcome. Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 9

Cool Sculpting and Anti-Inflammatory Medication?

There is no clinical evidence that the use of anti-inflammatory medication affects the results of cool sculpting.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

Do Anti-Inflammatories Affect Coolsculpting Result?


The mechanism of Coolsculpting is a controlled freezing of the fat cells.  When you freeze the fat cell, the fat in the cell crystallizes and ruptures and kills the cell membrane.  Your body's own immune system then gets rid of the dead cells and you utilize the fat as energy or it is excreted normally.   There has been no literature supporting decreased results as a result of taking motrin, ibuprofen, or alleve after the treatment.  In fact, it is recommended by the Zeltiq company trainers to advise patients to take non-steroidals after the treatment for any cramping or mild discomfort in the 1-2 weeks after a procedure.


Dr. Liu

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Anti inflammatories after coolsculpting

There is a theory that the reason coolsculpting works is the inflammatory reaction created in response to fat cell death (lipocyte necrosis). In theory the inflammatory response phagocytoses the fat cells and removes them. So, the inflammatory response may be critical in removing fat and thus anti-inflammatories, though perhaps anecdotal, are generally avoided for the first few weeks following coolsculpting.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews


Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what. There has not been any research that could suggest anti- inflammatory medication could alter the final result of coolsculpting.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Cool Sculpting and ani-inflammatories

I feel that these medicines are useful after treatment.  There is no evidence to suggest there is a problem with using them.

Body reshaping can be performed with a cannula that removes fat via liposuction or with noninvasive technology like Cool Sculpting. With Cool Sculpting there is no cannula inserted into your body. All treatments are performed on the surface from the outside in using technology that freezes the fat. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Austin regarding a Body Reshaping Consult at the Upper Room. On our Facebook Page there is an Interview I recently did with KVUE, a local news station in Austin, that was picked by affiliates around the United States, including Miami. During the Interview we discussed the technology of Cool Sculpting as well as it application process.

The discomfort from treatment does resolve. Taking over the counter tylenol or naproxen resolves this in the majority of cases. If you have swelling that is persistent then a waist binder is helpful.

Anti-inflammatories and their effect on CoolSculpting results

The cold temperature is the main factor in causing fat cell death. Once they are programmed to die, the body will slowly dispose of them through your lymphatics. It is unlikely that anti-inflammatory drugs will drastically change the result of the impending fat cell death.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Fat cells die from freezing with CoolSculpting

The inflammation that occurs after CoolSculpting is not the cause of the fat cells' death.  The fat cells die because of the freezing so there should be an effect after the CoolSculpting but it might take longer to clear the dead fat cells through the body because of the slower inflammation response.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Anti-Inflammatories and CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

Motrin and other anti-inflammatory medication have not been found to affect the final result.    Patience while waiting for your final results at 3  to 4 months is probably the best advice!

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Coolsculpting should not be affected by anti inflammatories

The way that Coolsculpting by Zeltiq works is to kill a percentage of  fat cells as a direct result of  cell cooling.  The inflammatory cells come in as a way to remove the already dead cells from the body slowly over time.  Although I am not aware of a specific study it is unlikely that anti inflammatories would protect the fat cells from cold induced cell death. We do not ask patients to avoid ibuprofen and we are seeing very good results.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.