Vaniqa Side Effects

Generic Name: eflornithine topical

Note: This document contains side effect information about eflornithine topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Vaniqa.

Some side effects of Vaniqa may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

For the Consumer

Applies to eflornithine topical: topical cream

Some side effects of eflornithine topical (the active ingredient contained in Vaniqa) may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Acne
  • stinging skin
Less common
  • Burning or bleeding skin
  • chapped, red lips
  • chronic acne
  • hair bumps
  • numbness
  • rash
  • reddening of skin
  • swelling of lips
  • tingling skin

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to eflornithine topical: topical cream


General side effects have been mild in intensity and resolved without medical treatment or discontinuation of therapy. Two percent of patients discontinued studies with eflornithine topical (the active ingredient contained in Vaniqa) due to adverse events.


Dermatological side effects have included acne (10.8% to 21.4%), Pseudofolliculitis barbae (4.9% to 16.3%), stinging skin (4.1% to 7.9%), burning skin (3.5% to 4.3%), dry skin (1.8% to 3.3%), pruritus (3.1% to 4%), erythema (1.3% to 2.5%), tingling skin (2.2% to 3.6%), skin irritation (1% to 1.8%), rash (1.5% to 2.8%), alopecia (1.5% to 2.5%), folliculitis (0.5% to 1%), ingrown hair (0.3% to 2%), and facial edema (0.3% to 3%). Those reported in less than 1% of patients include bleeding skin, cheilitis, contact dermatitis, herpes simplex, numbness, and rosacea.

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (3.8% to 5%), dizziness (1.3% to 1.5%), and asthenia (0% to 1%). Numbness has been reported in less than 1% of patients.


Gastrointestinal side effects have included dyspepsia (1.9% to 2.5%), anorexia (0.7% to 2%), nausea (0.5% to 1%), and swelling of lips (<1%).


Local side effects have included transient stinging or burning when applied to abraded or broken skin.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.