Is it Possible to Have a Flu Like Immune Response to Restylane?

iI have heard of some people having flu like symptoms after Restylane fillers, is it possible that the streptococcus bacteria that the filler is made from can give some people auto immune reactions like flu symptoms?

Doctor Answers 4

Is it Possible to Have a Flu Like Immune Response to Restylane?

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Yes, it is possible. Best to return to injecting doc and contact the Medicius company is fill out an adverse reaction report. 

Flu like immune response to restylane

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Autoimmune responses such as Guillain-Barre have been reported following a "flu" (Influenza) or some other infections but NEVER after a strep infection.

It is true that Restylane, purified from Streptococcal products, may contain trace amounts of Strep proteins but  it is extremely unlikely for a person, even sensitive to Strep, to get any reaction  as strong as a "Flu" symptom, and even then, no autoimmune reaction would be likely to follow.

Restylane is very well tolerated by the vast majority of patients.

If you are worried about a reaction to the trace Strep proteins in Restylane, you are right about opting for Radiesse, an inert inorganic material, abundantly found in human bone.

Always make sure you are being terated by an experienced  Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Restylane is an excellent soft tissue filler for facial rejuvenation

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While it may theoretically be possible, I have never seen it nor have I heard of it reported at any of the numerous scientific meetings I have attended both nationally and internationally. I would still take it seriously and treat it as you would do the flu. If the symptoms recur and are similar or worse after your next treatment I would definitely report it to your doctor so they can report to the company as well.

Doris Day, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Medicis, the distributor of Restylane, warns doctors of this possibility.

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The filler is not make from the bacteria, it is made by the bacteria.  Many steps go into the process of preparing this very high grade product for human use.  However, a tiny percentage of individuals with allergies to bacteria antigens are warned about the possibility of allergic reactions due to this exposure.  It is important to stress that this is rare.  

It is much more likely that any flu like symptoms after a Restylane treatment will be cause by something else.  In looking at large studies that are required to obtain FDA approval, flu like symptoms are common.  This is because flu and colds are very common and the majority of individuals in these studies with these symptoms have them because they are in fact coming down with a cold at the time of being enrolled in the study.  The cold symptoms and the treatment have nothing to do with each other.  

Complicating this issue, some individuals who have lip edge treatment, for example, will develop a cold sore from the minor stress of the treatment.  This sore, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus, can also be associated with flu like symptoms.

Bottom line, unless you have a history of bacterial sepsis, or are "allergic " to everything, or know from prior testing that you may be allergic to streptococcus antigen, it is extremely improbable that you will have a reaction to Restylane treatment including a flu like immune response.  For this reason routine patch testing that was recommend for collagen implants is not recommended prior to hyaluronic acid implants.  Clinical experience confirms that there is a very low incidence of allergic reactions to these excellent products.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.