April 28, 2017
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Discontinue use if hypersensitivity occurs.



For external use only.

Transient stinging or burning may occur when applied to abraded or broken skin.

Information For Patients

Patients using VANIQA® should receive the following information and instructions:

  1. This medication is not a depilatory, but rather appears to retard hair growth to improve the condition and the patient's appearance. Patients will likely need to continue using a hair removal method (e.g., shaving, plucking, etc.) in conjunction with VANIQA® (eflornithine hydrochloride) cream, 13.9%.
  2. Onset of improvement was seen after as little as 4-8 weeks of treatment in the 24-week clinical trials. The condition may return to pretreatment levels 8 weeks after discontinuing treatment.
  3. If skin irritation or intolerance develops, direct the patient to temporarily reduce the frequency of application (e.g., once a day). If irritation continues, the patient should discontinue use of the product.

Refer to the PATIENT INFORMATION Leaflet for additional important information and instructions.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis And Impairment Of Fertility

In a 12-month photocarcinogenicity study in hairless albino mice, animals treated with the vehicle alone showed an increased incidence of skin tumors induced by exposure to ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light, whereas mice treated topically with VANIQA® at doses up to 600 mg/kg [19X the Maximum Recommended Human Dose (MRHD) based on body surface area (BSA)] showed an incidence of skin tumors equivalent to untreated-control animals.

A 2-year dermal carcinogenicity study in CD-1 mice treated with VANIQA® revealed no evidence of carcinogenicity at daily doses up to 600 mg/kg (950X the MRHD based on AUC comparisons).

Eflornithine did not elicit mutagenic effects in an Ames reverse-mutation assay or clastogenicity in primary human lymphocytes, with and without metabolic activation. In a dermal micronucleus assay, eflornithine hydrochloride cream, 13.9%, at doses up to 900 mg/kg (58X the MRHD based on BSA) in rats yielded no evidence of genotoxicity.

In a dermal fertility and early embryonic development study in rats treated with VANIQA®, there were no adverse reproductive effects at doses up to 450 mg/kg (29X the MRHD based on BSA). In a peri- and postnatal study in rats, eflornithine administered in the drinking water was associated with maternal toxicity and reduced pup weights at doses of at least 625 mg/kg (40X the MRHD based on BSA) and a slightly reduced fertility index, which was considered to be of questionable biological significance, at 1698 mg/kg (110X the MRHD based on BSA). No effects were seen with an oral dose of 223 mg/kg (14X the MRHD based on BSA). In the latter study, the multiples of the human exposure are likely much higher, since eflornithine is well absorbed orally in rats, whereas minimal absorption occurs in humans treated topically.


Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category C

In the first dermal embryo-fetal development study in rats treated with eflornithine hydrochloride cream, 13.9% (in which no precautions were taken to prevent ingestion of drug from application sites), maternal toxicity and fetal effects including reduced numbers of live fetuses, decreased fetal weights, and delayed ossification and development of the viscera were observed at doses of 225 and 450 mg/kg (15X and 29X the MRHD based on BSA, respectively). When the study was repeated under conditions that avoided ingestion from application sites, no maternal, fetal or teratogenic effects were observed at doses up to 450 mg/kg (29X the MRHD based on BSA). In the first study in which no precautions were taken to prevent ingestion, circulating plasma levels were 11- to 14-fold higher than in the second study in which ingestion was prevented. In a dermal embryo-fetal development study in rabbits treated with VANIQA® (eflornithine hydrochloride) cream, 13.9% no adverse maternal or fetal effects occurred at doses up to 90 mg/kg (11X the MRHD based on BSA). Significant dermal irritation, as well as possible ingestion of VANIQA® occurred at 300 mg/kg/day (36X the MRHD based on BSA) and was associated with maternal deaths, abortions, increased fetal resorptions, and reduced fetal weights. Fetotoxicity in the absence of maternal toxicity has been reported in oral studies with eflornithine with fetal no-effect doses of 80 mg/kg in rats and 45 mg/kg in rabbits. In these studies, no evidence of teratogenicity was observed in rats given up to 200 mg/kg or in rabbits given up to 135 mg/kg.

Although VANIQA® was not formally studied in pregnant patients, 22 pregnancies occurred during the trials. Nineteen of these pregnancies occurred while patients were using VANIQA®. Of the 19 pregnancies, there were 9 healthy infants, 4 spontaneous abortions, 5 induced/elective abortions, and 1 birth defect (Down's Syndrome to a 35-year-old). Because there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women, the risk/benefit ratio of using VANIQA® in women with unwanted facial hair who are pregnant should be weighed carefully with serious consideration for either not implementing or discontinuing use of VANIQA®.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether or not eflornithine hydrochloride is excreted in human milk. Caution should be exercised when VANIQA® is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of this product have not been established in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age.

Geriatric Use

Of the 1373 patients on active treatment in clinical studies of VANIQA®, approximately 7% were 65 years or older and approximately 1% were 75 or older. No apparent differences in safety were observed between older patients and younger patients.

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/9/2016


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