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Classification: Women's Health
Generic Name: Eflornithine
Typical Brand Names: Vaniqa

Eflornithine is the first topical drug for the treatment of unwanted facial and chin hair. It does not remove the hair but rather slows its growth. The cells surrounding the base of each hair (called the hair follicle) undergo rapid growth and maturation as they transform into hairs. Certain proteins called polyamines are needed for this rapid cell growth and differentiation, and the production of these polyamines depends on the activity of an enzyme, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). Eflornithine is believed to block ODC and thereby slow the growth and differentiation of the cells within the hair follicles.

Almost 600 patients were studied who routinely had to remove facial hair at least twice weekly and had more than 5 hairs per square centimeter of skin. The re-growth of hair was evaluated 48 hours after patients shaved before, during, and at the end of treatment. The patients received either eflornithine cream or a placebo cream twice daily for 24 weeks. By the end of 24 weeks of treatment, 70% of eflornithine-treated patients had at least some reduction in the rate of hair growth compared with 41% of placebo-treated patients. Moreover, 35% of eflornithine-treated patients had a marked reduction in the rate of growth (only minimal darkening of facial skin due to re-growth of hair) compared to 9% of placebo-treated patients." Eflornithine was approved by the FDA in July 2000.

Product Name Price
Vaniqa 13.90% - 1 x 30 gm Tube $102.51
Vaniqa 13.90% - 3 x 30 gm Tubes $217.60
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Vaniqa Directions To Use

Apply a thin layer of Vaniqa Cream to affected areas of the face and adjacent involved areas under the chin and rub in thoroughly. Do not wash treated area for at least 4 hours. Use twice daily at least 8 hours apart or as directed by a physician. You should continue to use hair removal techniques as needed in conjunction with Vaniqa. (Vaniqa should be applied at least 5 minutes after hair removal). Cosmetics or sunscreens may be applied over treated areas after cream has dried.

Vaniqa Warnings and Side Effects

Do not use Vaniqa if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past. Vaniqa is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Vaniqa will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is also not known whether Vaniqa passes into breast milk. Do not use Vaniqa without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Vaniqa has not been approved for use by children younger than 12 years of age.

Side effects, that may go away during treatment, include stinging, burning, redness, tingling, rash of the skin; or hair bumps (folliculitis). If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience bleeding skin, or swelling of the face or lips. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Vaniqa Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Vaniqa, skip the missed dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply 2 Vaniqa doses at once.

Vaniqa Storage

Store at 25° C (77° F); excursions permitted to 15° C-30° C (59° F-86° F). Do not freeze. See tube crimp and carton end for expiration date and lot number.

Vaniqa Overdose

An overdose of Vaniqa is not likely to occur. If the cream has been ingested, or if you suspect an overdose has occurred, contact your doctor, hospital emergency room, or poison control center for advice.

Vaniqa More Information

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If this occurs, wash the area with water. If Vaniqa gets in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water and contact your doctor.

Vaniqa Disclaimer

This drug information is for your information purposes only, it is not intended that this information covers all uses, directions, drug interactions, precautions, or adverse effects of your medication. This is only general information, and should not be relied on for any purpose. It should not be construed as containing specific instructions for any particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of this information, and/or any consequences arising from the use of this information, including damage or adverse consequences to persons or property, however such damages or consequences arise. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made in regards to this information.

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