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Vaniqa Side Effects

Generic Name: eflornithine topical

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug eflornithine topical. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Vaniqa.

For the Consumer

Applies to eflornithine topical: topical cream

Minor Side Effects

Some eflornithine topical (the active ingredient contained in Vaniqa) side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned 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.[Ref]


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.[Ref]

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.[Ref]


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%).[Ref]


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


1. "Product Information. Vaniqa (eflornithine topical)" Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ.

It is possible that some side effects of Vaniqa may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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