Vaniqa (eflornithine hydrochloride)

Vaniqa (eflornithine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for reducing unwanted facial hair that occurs in women. It contains the active substance eflornithine which works by slowing down the growth of hair via its effect on a protein enzyme within the body.

Vaniqa is designed for application onto the skin and should only be used on the face and adjacent areas under the chin. Results can become visible within 4-8 weeks when used twice daily (leaving 8 hours between each application).

Description

Vaniqa (eflornithine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for reducing unwanted facial hair that occurs in women. It contains the active substance eflornithine which works by slowing down the growth of hair via its effect on a protein enzyme within the body.

Vaniqa is designed for application onto the skin and should only be used on the face and adjacent areas under the chin. Results can become visible within 4-8 weeks when used twice daily (leaving 8 hours between each application).

 

How to use

You should use this medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you are unsure how and when to use Vaniqa please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Vaniqa should be used twice a day, with 8 hours between each application.

  • Clean and dry the areas of the skin where the cream will be used
  • Apply a thin layer of cream and rub it in thoroughly until no visual residual product remains on the treated areas- If possible, refrain from washing these areas of skin for 4 hours after applying the cream
  • Wash your hands after applying the cream
  • Wait at least 5 minutes before using make-up or sunscreen on the same areas
  • When using on the face, avoid contact with your eyes or the inside of your nose or mouth. If you should accidentally get Vaniqa into your eyes, mouth or nose, rinse well with water.

If you experience any irritation when using Vaniqa (such as stinging or burning), you should reduce the use to once a day, until the irritation has stopped. If the irritation continues, please consult your doctor.

If you have shaved or used any other hair removal method, you should wait at least 5 minutes before applying to avoid irritation to the skin.

Please note that Vaniqa is not a depilatory cream so you will need to continue with your current hair removal method in conjunction with this medication.

Results with Vaniqa can take up to 8 weeks so it is important to continue using the cream. If you do not see any improvement after 4 months use, please consult your doctor. If you discontinue use, your hair growth could return within 8 weeks.

Hirsutism

Hirsutism is a condition of unwanted hair growth in women. Hirsutism results in excessive amounts of dark, course hair on body areas where men typically grow hair — face, chest and back. Whilst it is a relatively common condition, it can be one that women find embarrassing and self-conscious about.

Symptoms of hirsutism

The excessive hair in hirsutism is usually thick and dark and develops in the following areas:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Tummy
  • lower back
  • buttocks
  • thighs
  • You may also have some additional symptoms, such as oily skin, acne, a deep voice, irregular periods or no periods at all.

It is advisable to consult your GP if you are experiencing hirsutism as they can investigate any underlying issues that may be causing it and also prescribe suitable treatment.

Causes of hirsutism

Hirsutism is a result of excess male hormones (androgens) being present in the body. It is often not clear why this happens although some women will experience extra hair growth during the menopause and later in life.

Cases in younger women are most caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is a condition that causes irregular periods and cysts on the ovaries.

Treatments for hirsutism

Treatment for hirsutism often involves methods to remove the excess hair and treatment to help reduce stop and stop it growing back

The most common treatments are:

  • home hair removal methods – such as shaving, plucking or waxing
  • specialist hair removal treatments – such as laser hair removal
  • eflornithine cream – a prescription cream that can help slow down the growth of facial hair
  • oral contraceptives, including co-cyprindiol tablets – a type of contraceptive pill available on prescription that can help prevent excess hair growth 

Results from treatment can take a few months to become noticeable so it is crucial that treatment is consistent. In a lot of cases, treatment will need to be used indefinitely.

Eflornithine cream

Eflornithine cream is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of Hirsutism. When applied twice a day, it can help treat excess hair on both the face and under the chin.

It can be prescribed for both premenopausal women and menopausal women, but is not suitable for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or under the age of 19.

Effects should be seen within 8 weeks of continued use although if no improvement occurs after 4 months, treatment would be stopped.

If eflornithine cream is effective, it is often required for continuous use as hair growth can return within 8 weeks of stopping treatment.

Side effects of eflornithine cream can include:

  • mild acne
  • skin redness
  • a burning or stinging sensation
  • dry itchy skin.

Side effects

Side effects of eflornithine cream can include:

  • mild acne
  • skin redness
  • a burning or stinging sensation
  • dry itchy skin.