What is Vaniqa?
Vaniqa, also known as eflornithine, is a topical skin product used to reduce unwanted facial hair in women. Vaniqa is commonly used in combination with other facial hair reduction techniques.
How does Vaniqa work?
Vaniqa inhibits an enzyme called ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). ODC is involved in cell growth and division. Inhibition of ODC reduces the rate of cell division in the hair follicle and results in less hair growth.
Vaniqa is available only as a 13.9% cream.
Vaniqa should be applied as a thin layer to affected areas of the face and chin twice daily, at least 8 hours apart. Do not wash the treated area for at least 4 hours. If using other hair removal techniques, apply Vaniqa 5 minutes after hair removal. Cosmetics or sunscreens can be applied over treated areas after the area has dried.
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C – 30°C (59°F – 86°F) and do not freeze. The tube crimp and carton show the expiration date and the lot number.
Information on Vaniqa overdosage is not known. Seek immediate medical attention if the medication is swallowed.
The most common side effects of Vaniqa:
- Temporary redness
- Burning or stinging of the skin
- Itching or tingling of the skin
- Acne or red bumps on the skin
- Dry skin
Rare but serious side effects are less common but may still occur. Get immediate medical attention if you experience one of the following serious side effects:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, throat, or tongue
- Blistered or peeling skin
- Severe skin irritation
This is not a complete list of the possible side effects. Please reach out to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Warnings & Precautions
Discontinue Vaniqa if hypersensitivity occurs.
This medication is for external use in females only.
Information For Patients
You will likely need to continue using a hair removal method because Vaniqa does not remove hair; it works by slowing the rate of hair growth. Improvement may be seen in 4-8 weeks but may take longer in some instances. If treatment is discontinued, hair growth may reach the pretreatment condition after 8 weeks. You may temporarily reduce the number of applications to once per day if skin irritation occurs. The medication should be discontinued if irritation still occurs.
It is not known if Vaniqa has any interaction with other topical medications. However, Vaniqa has minimal systemic absorption and is not likely to interact with non-topical medications (oral, intravenous, intramuscular, etc.)
Please notify your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription & over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
Vaniqa is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to eflornithine or any other component of the preparation.