What is Vaniqa Cream?
Vaniqa Cream is a prescription medication for treating unwanted facial hair growth in women who suffer from hirsutism (excessive hair growth). The psychological consequences of facial hair in women are potentially devastating and treatment is a high priority for many sufferers. The active ingredient in Vaniqa Cream is eflornithine, the only topical prescription medicine that slows the growth of facial hair. Used correctly, twice a day, Vaniqa Cream may produce improvements within 8 weeks. Although it may take up to a year of continual use to achieve optimal results. Vaniqa is often one part of a combined treatment strategy that may also involve laser treatment and other methods.
What is the active ingredient of Vaniqa Cream?
The active ingredient of Vaniqa Cream is eflornithine, present in an 11.5% concentration. The drug was originally developed as a treatment for cancer. During clinical trials, it was found to slow the growth of hair. Eflornithine is also used to treat African Sleeping Sickness. If Vaniqa Cream is used correctly, the eflornithine may begin to retard hair growth in as little as two months.
How does Vaniqa Cream work?
When you apply Vaniqa Cream to your face twice a day, the active ingredient eflornithine immediately begins to slow the growth of facial hair. The cream targets individual hairs during their new growth phase and the effects are cumulative over time. If you use Vaniqa Cream correctly, you may see noticeable results within just 8 weeks. One study showed that after 12 months of continual use, 81% of women reported a definite improvement. If you stop using Vaniqa Cream, your gains may be reversed over the following two months. Many women use Vaniqa as part of a wider treatment plan and use other methods like laser treatment and beauty treatments simultaneously.
Who can Use Vaniqa Cream?
Our online GPs are usually willing to prescribe Vaniqa Cream to women over the age of 18 who suffer from hirsutism or excessive hair growth. The side effects of Vaniqa Cream are generally mild and there are few contraindications. However, you cannot use Vaniqa Cream if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Receiving a prescription and a delivery of Vaniqa Cream is subject to you meeting the basic health requirements to use the medication safely. When you complete the short online medical questionnaire, it is important to be open about any medical conditions that you suffer from and any prescription medications that you are using.
What doses of Vaniqa Cream are available?
Vaniqa Cream is available with a standard 11.5% concentration of the active ingredient eflornithine. There is no specific dosage for daily use, you simply apply a small amount of cream to the areas of your face affected by unwanted hair growth.
- Apply Vaniqa Cream twice daily with at least 8 hours between applications.
- Apply the cream every day without a break.
- Continue to use any other hair removal methods like plucking, shaving, or laser treatment that are compatible with Vaniqa Cream.
- You may see initial results in as little as 4 - 8 weeks. Do not discontinue treatment or your gains will be lost and the hair will regrow.
Vaniqa Cream is available in 60 gram tubes.
How do I use Vaniqa Cream?
To use Vaniqa Cream, wash and dry your face and then apply a small amount of cream to any area of skin with unwanted hair growth. Allow the cream to dry completely before putting on any make-up, moisturizer or sunscreen. Try to avoid washing these areas of skin for at least 4 hours.
For best results you should apply Vaniqa Cream twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night. There must be an 8 hour gap between applications. Follow this routine every day, with no days off. You may continue to use any other hair removal method that is compatible with Vaniqa Cream. These may include, plucking, shaving, or laser hair removal etc. If you use Vaniqa Cream correctly, you may see the first results within 4 - 8 weeks. It is important to keep on using the cream, if you do not, your unwanted facial hair will begin to return.
Can I use Vaniqa Cream and drink alcohol?
Our online GPs generally do not recommend drinking alcohol while using any prescription medications. In the case of Vaniqa Cream, there are no specific warnings against drinking alcohol in moderation. There is no evidence that alcohol will reduce the efficacy of the active ingredient eflornithine or cause unwelcome side effects.
What are the side effects of Vaniqa Cream?
Your Vaniqa Cream will come with a patient leaflet giving detailed information about the medication, its ingredients, possible side effects, and contraindications. Please read this leaflet carefully before you take any tablets. Keep the leaflet with the medication for future reference.
If you use Vaniqa Cream exactly as directed by our online GP you are unlikely to experience any significant unwelcome side effects. A small minority of patients may experience some minor side effects.
Very common (affects more than 1 user in 10):
Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100):
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Inflammation around the hair shaft
- Skin irritation
- Stinging, tingling or burning feeling on the skin
Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000):
- Bumpy rash (papular rash)
- Cold sores
- Redness and irritation at the site where the cream is applied
- Inflamed, dry, cracked or numb lips
- Ingrowing hairs
- Pale areas on the skin
- Skin bleeding
- Skin boils
- Skin flushing
- Skin inflammation
- Sore skin
- Swelling of the mouth or face
- Unusual hair texture or hair growth
Rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000):
- Abnormal skin growth (skin neoplasm)
- Excessive hair growth
- Flushing, facial redness and pimples possibly with pus
- Other skin disorders
- Red, scaly and itchy skin inflammation (seborrhoeic dermatitis)
- Red, bumpy or blistering rash
- Skin cysts
- Skin tightness
If you experience serious discomfort we recommend that you go straight to your nearest casualty department. In an emergency dial 999.
When not to take Vaniqa Cream?
If you are allergic to the active ingredient eflornithine, you cannot use Vaniqa Cream. If you suffer from any of the following medical conditions, or are taking the following medications, you may be unable to use Vaniqa Cream. It is important that you mention them when you complete the short online health questionnaire. Our duty GP will review your health profile to ensure that you can take the medication safely. Eflornithine is the only active ingredient used in topical creams for treating facial hair. If we cannot issue a prescription for Vaniqa Cream, you may have to explore other methods of hair removal.
- Any kidneys or liver problems
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Specific hormone producing tumours
- Medicines that can induce hair growth, e.g. cyclosporine (following organ transplants)
- Glucocorticoids (e.g. against rheumatic or allergic diseases)
- Minoxidil (against high blood pressure)
- Phenobarbitone or phenytoin (against seizures),
- Hormone replacement therapy
Vaniqa Cream and Pregnancy
Do not use vaniqa Cream if you are pregnant, or think that you might be pregnant. If you use Vaniqa Cream and are sexually active it is important to use an effective form of contraception. You should also not use Vaniqa Cream if you are breastfeeding.
- Randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled safety and efficacy evaluation of eflornithine 15% cream in the treatment of women with excessive facial hair.
- "Randomized, double-blind clinical evaluation of the efficacy and safety of topical eflornithine HCl 13.9% cream in the treatment of women with facial hair". International Journal of Dermatology.
- VANIQA™ (eflornithine hydrochloride) Cream, 13.9%
- Human dermal safety studies with eflornithine HCl 13.9% cream (Vaniqa), a novel treatment for excessive facial hair.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.