|Type of medicine||A skin preparation to reduce hair growth|
|Used for||Reducing unwanted hair growth on the face in women|
In women, excessive growth of thick dark hair in areas where there is usually little hair growth (such as on the face), may result from some hormonal disorders or as a side-effect of some medicines. It occurs as a result of an increased production of the hormone androgen, or because the skin has become more sensitive to this hormone.
Eflornithine works by blocking the action of an enzyme in hair follicles which is involved in the production of hair. When applied to the skin of your face or chin, it will reduce the rate at which unwanted hair grows.
Before using eflornithine
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using eflornithine cream it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription because some medicines, hormone therapies, and other drugs, can induce hair growth.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine or cream.
How to use eflornithine
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the cream, and a full list of possible side-effects from using it.
- Apply eflornithine cream twice a day to the areas of your face which are affected. You should leave at least eight hours between applications. Try not to get any cream in or near your eyes or mouth.
- You only need to apply a thin layer of cream, and you should rub it in well (until you can no longer see any cream on your face). If you have just used a hair remover or shaved, leave at least five minutes before you apply eflornithine cream so that it doesn't irritate your skin. After applying the cream, you should wash your hands to remove any cream left on your fingers, but if possible, do not wash your face for the next four hours.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you are using make-up on the areas of skin you've applied the cream to, wait about five minutes before you do this.
- It may take about eight weeks before you start to see the benefit from using the cream, but you should continue to use it regularly.
- If your skin becomes irritated by using the cream, try applying it just once a day for a few days to let your skin recover. If the irritation continues, speak with your doctor for advice.
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Also, if there is little improvement in your skin after four months, your doctor will want to review your treatment.
- Eflornithine cream should not be used by men, or girls under 12 years old.
Can eflornithine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common eflornithine side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who use this cream||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Acne, skin irritation, itching, dryness, redness||Try applying the cream just once a day for a few days to allow your skin to recover. If the irritation continues, speak with your doctor for further advice|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this cream, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store eflornithine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Vaniqa® 11.5% cream; Manufacturer's PIL, Vaniqa® 11.5% cream, Almirall Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 19/07/2012||Document ID: 13911 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.