Generic name: eflornithine topical
Brand name: Vaniqa
Dosage form: topical cream (13.9%)
Drug class: Miscellaneous topical agents
Medically reviewed by A Ras MD.
What is eflornithine?
Eflornithine is a prescription medicine that is used to lower the growth of unwanted facial hair in females. Eflornithine may be given to you for other reasons.
Eflornithine is a cream containing 13.9% (139 mg/g) of anhydrous eflornithine hydrochloride as eflornithine hydrochloride monohydrate (150 mg/g).
Chemically, eflornithine hydrochloride is (±) -2-(difluoromethyl) ornithine monohydrochloride monohydrate, with the empirical formula C6H12F2N2O2• HCl•H2O, a molecular weight of 236.65 and the following structural formula:
Anhydrous eflornithine hydrochloride has an empirical formula C6H12F2N2O2• HCl and a molecular weight of 218.65.
Other ingredients include: ceteareth-20; cetearyl alcohol; dimethicone; glyceryl stearate; methylparaben; mineral oil; PEG-100 stearate; phenoxyethanol; propylparaben; stearyl alcohol; and water.
Before taking eflornithine, tell your doctor:
For all patients taking eflornithine:
- If you are allergic to eflornithine; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If your child is younger than 12 years of age. Do not give eflornithine to a child younger than 12 years of age.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take eflornithine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take eflornithine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take eflornithine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- You will still need to remove hair other ways while using eflornithine.
- It may take several weeks to see the full effects.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- After stopping treatment, the hair will go back to how it was before treatment.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using eflornithine while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is eflornithine best taken?
Use eflornithine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take eflornithine by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Use at least 5 minutes after you get rid of hair.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
- Do not wash affected part for at least 4 hours.
- Makeup may be used after the skin has dried.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.
What are the side effects of eflornithine that I need to call my doctor about immediately?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad skin irritation.
What are some other side effects of eflornithine?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Pimples (acne).
- Hair bumps.
- Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If overdose is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out eflornithine?
- Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
SRC: NLM .