April 30, 2017
Recommended Topic Related To:


"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved oxymetazoline hydrochloride 1% cream (Rhofade, Allergan) for the topical treatment of persistent facial erythema associated with rosacea in adults.

Persistent facial erythe"...


Finacea Gel



Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.



Hypersensitivity reactions, including cases of angioedema, eye swelling, facial swelling, dyspnea, urticaria, and adverse skin reactions, have been reported during post marketing surveillance.

Avoid the use of FINACEA Gel in patients with known hypersensitivity to any component of the gel. If hypersensitivity develops during treatment, discontinue FINACEA Gel and institute appropriate therapy.

Skin Reactions

Skin irritation (i.e. pruritus, burning or stinging) may occur during use of FINACEA Gel, usually during the first few weeks of treatment. If sensitivity or severe irritation develops and persists, discontinue treatment and institute appropriate therapy.

There have been isolated reports of hypopigmentation after use of azelaic acid. Since azelaic acid has not been well studied in patients with dark complexion, monitor these patients for early signs of hypopigmentation.

Eye And Mucous Membranes Irritation

Avoid contact with the eyes, mouth and other mucous membranes. If FINACEA Gel does come in contact with the eyes, wash the eyes with large amounts of water and consult a physician if eye irritation persists [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Exacerbation Of Asthma

Worsening of asthma has been reported in patients using azelaic acid formulations including FINACEA Gel. Consult a physician if asthma is exacerbated with use of FINACEA Gel.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Systemic long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of azelaic acid. In a 26-week dermal carcinogenicity study using transgenic (Tg.AC) mice, FINACEA Gel and the gel vehicle, when applied once or twice daily, did not increase the number of female Tg.AC animals with papillomas at the treatment site. No statistically significant increase in the number of animals with papillomas at the treatment site was observed in male Tg.AC animals after once daily application. After twice daily application, FINACEA Gel and the gel vehicle induced a statistically significant increase in the number of male animals with papillomas at the treatment site when compared to untreated males. This suggests that the positive effect may be associated with the vehicle application. The clinical relevance of the findings in animals to humans is not clear.

Azelaic acid was not mutagenic or clastogenic in a battery of in vitro [Ames assay, HGPRT in V79 cells (Chinese hamster lung cells), and chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes] and in vivo (dominant lethal assay in mice and mouse micronucleus assay) genotoxicity tests.

Oral administration of azelaic acid at dose levels up to 2500 mg/kg/day (162 times the MRHD based on BSA) did not affect fertility or reproductive performance in male or female rats.

Use In Specific Populations


Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category B

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, FINACEA Gel should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Dermal embryofetal developmental toxicology studies have not been performed with azelaic acid, 15% gel. Oral embryofetal developmental studies were conducted with azelaic acid in rats, rabbits, and cynomolgus monkeys. Azelaic acid was administered during the period of organogenesis in all three animal species. Embryotoxicity was observed in rats, rabbits, and monkeys at oral doses of azelaic acid that generated some maternal toxicity. Embryotoxicity was observed in rats given 2500 mg/kg/day [162 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) based on body surface area (BSA)], rabbits given 150 or 500 mg/kg/day (19 or 65 times the MRHD based on BSA) and cynomolgus monkeys given 500 mg/kg/day (65 times the MRHD based on BSA) azelaic acid. No teratogenic effects were observed in the oral embryofetal developmental studies conducted in rats, rabbits and cynomolgus monkeys.

An oral peri- and post-natal developmental study was conducted in rats. Azelaic acid was administered from gestational day 15 through day 21 postpartum up to a dose level of 2500 mg/kg/day. Embryotoxicity was observed in rats at an oral dose of 2500 mg/kg/day (162 times the MRHD based on BSA) that generated some maternal toxicity. In addition, slight disturbances in the post-natal development of fetuses was noted in rats at oral doses that generated some maternal toxicity (500 and 2500 mg/kg/day; 32 and 162 times the MRHD based on BSA). No effects on sexual maturation of the fetuses were noted in this study.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether azelaic acid is excreted in human milk; however, in vitro studies using equilibrium dialysis were conducted to assess the potential for human milk partitioning. The studies demonstrated that, at an azelaic acid concentration of 25 μg/mL, the milk/plasma distribution coefficient was 0.7 and the milk/buffer distribution was 1.0. These data indicate that passage of drug into maternal milk may occur. Since less than 4% of a topically applied dose of 20% azelaic acid cream is systemically absorbed, the uptake of azelaic acid into maternal milk is not expected to cause a significant change from baseline azelaic acid levels in the milk. Nevertheless, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of FINACEA Gel in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of FINACEA Gel did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/29/2016


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