Generic Name: eflornithine topical (ee FLOOR nih theen)
Brand Name: Vaniqa
Medically reviewed on July 25, 2016
What is eflornithine topical?
Eflornithine interferes with a chemical in hair follicles under the skin, which slows hair growth where the medicine is applied.
Eflornithine topical is used to reduce unwanted facial hair in women.
Eflornithine topical does not permanently remove facial hair or prevent hair growth.
Eflornithine topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use eflornithine topical if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether eflornithine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Eflornithine topical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.
How should I use eflornithine topical?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin.
Eflornithine topical is usually applied twice daily, at least 8 hours apart. This medicine is for use only on the face and chin. Do not apply to other areas of the body.
Before application, remove any facial hair using your desired hair removal method (razor, tweezers, etc). Wait at least 5 minutes before applying eflornithine topical.
Wash your hands before and after applying the medicine.
Apply a thin layer to all affected areas of the face or under the chin and rub in thoroughly.
Wait until the medicine dries completely before you apply cosmetics or sunscreen to treated areas.
Do not wash the treatment areas for at least 4 hours after application of eflornithine topical.
If this medicine irritates your skin, you may need to reduce applications to once daily.
Call your doctor if skin irritation does not improve, or if it gets worse.
Eflornithine topical is not a hair remover (depilatory). You will need to continue using your current hair removal techniques. Eflornithine topical can help you manage your condition and improve your appearance.
Eflornithine topical will reduce facial hair growth gradually. Keep using the medicine even if you do not see immediate results. It may take 4 to 8 weeks or longer before you notice improvement.
Stop using this medicine if you do not get the desired results after 6 months of use.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the medicine to freeze.
Hair growth may return to pretreatment levels approximately 8 weeks after you stop using eflornithine topical.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of eflornithine topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using eflornithine topical?
If the medicine gets in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water and contact your doctor.
Eflornithine topical side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using eflornithine and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe irritation of treated skin; or
redness or crusting around your hair follicles.
Common side effects may include:
temporary redness, rash, burning, stinging, itching, or tingling;
acne or red bumps on the skin;
skin dryness; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect eflornithine topical?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied eflornithine. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
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- Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents