- Used to reduce excessive female facial hair
- Works by blocking production of the hair shaft within the hair folicles
- Comes as a cream that should be applied to the area twice daily
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What is Vaniqa cream?
Vaniqa cream contains the active ingredient eflornithine, which helps to slow down the growth of hair. This makes it a popular and effective medication for reducing facial hair in women.
You can only buy Vaniqa cream when it has been prescribed for you.
What is Vaniqa cream used to treat?
Vaniqa is used to reduce excessive hair growth in women who are over the age of 18 years old.
It is not a hair removal treatment but works by blocking the production of the hair shaft within the hair follicles. This helps to reduce hair growth in unwanted places.
Why is Vaniqa recommended to treat female facial hair?
This treatment has been widely tested, and research has shown that it has significantly improved excessive facial hair in 70% of women who use it.
Female facial hair can lead to women feeling very self-conscious and embarrassed. Women who use Vaniqa cream have also stated that it has improved their confidence.
How does Vaniqa work?
Vaniqa contains eflornithine, which works by blocking the enzymes that produce hair; these enzymes are located within the hair follicles. By blocking the enzymes, the production of hair growth is slowed down, which works to reduce the appearance of facial hair.
Vaniqa will not stop hair from growing permanently, nor does it remove hair that is already present on the face. Nonetheless, if you use it frequently, Vaniqa can slow down the production of excessive facial hair so that its appearance is greatly reduced.
Who can use Vaniqa cream?
Vaniqa is an effective treatment for excessive female facial hair growth, but it may not be suitable for everyone to use.
Excessive hair growth may be a symptom of another disease. You should speak to your doctor if:
- You suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or specific hormone-producing tumours
- You take any medicines that may induce hair growth
- You take any hormone replacement therapies which have male hormones
- You have any other medical conditions, especially those which affect your liver or kidneys
Do not buy Vaniqa cream if you are allergic to eflornithine or any of the other ingredients contained in this treatment.
Can you buy Vaniqa cream over the counter?
Vaniqa is a prescription medicine and is not for sale over the counter. Speak to your doctor if you have excessive facial hair growth and believe that Vaniqa would be beneficial for you. They will prescribe it if they deem it suitable.
Can you buy Vaniqa cream online in the UK?
You can buy Vaniqa online from Medicine Direct. All you need to do is complete one of our confidential online consultation forms; this involves answering some questions about your condition and medical history. Your answers will be reviewed by one of our prescribers to make sure Vaniqa is suitable for you to use.
Hair removal techniques also exist to help women who suffer from excessive growth of facial hair.
- Laser hair removal
The contraceptive pill can also help to control your hormone levels, which can help with hair growth in some women.
If none of these are viable options for you, you can be referred to a specialist by your GP.
Vaniqa Cream Dosage and Directions
Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Vaniqa Cream.
Use Vaniqa on the areas affected by excess facial hair twice a day, leaving at least 8 hours between applications.
How to use Vaniqa cream
- Apply Vaniqa twice a day, leaving a gap of at least 8 hours between applications.
- Reduce this dose to once a day if you experience any irritation. Speak to your doctor if this doesn’t go away.
- Wait for at least 5 minutes after shaving or using any other hair removal techniques before applying Vaniqa.
- Apply a thin layer of the cream to clean and dry skin.
- Rub it in until the cream has disappeared and do not wash the skin for 4 hours afterwards.
- Wash your hands after you have applied Vaniqa.
Always refer to the patient information leaflet for comprehensive instructions. Use Vaniqa exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you.
How long will treatment last?
It may take up to 8 weeks before you start to see a reduction in excessive hair growth. If you do not see any improvement in your excessive hair growth after 4 months of treatment, you should return to your doctor.
Vaniqa Cream Side Effects
Rarer adverse effects of Vaniqa cream include:
- Bumpy rash
- Cold sores
- Redness or irritation at the site you applied the treatment
- Ingrowing hair
- Pale areas of the skin
- Inflamed, cracked, numb or dry lips
- Skin bleeding, boils, flushing or inflammation
- Sore skin
- Unusual hair texture or hair growth
- Abnormal skin growth
- Skin tightness
- Skin cysts
- Red, scaly, inflamed or itchy skin
- Excessive hair growth
Always read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of potential reactions and side effects.
Vaniqa Cream Warnings and Drug Interactions
It is very important that you always inform your doctor or pharmacist of any other medicines you are currently using. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medications, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
Vaniqa cream is for external use only. Do not swallow this medication and avoid contact with the eyes, mouth and nostrils. If you accidentally get it in your eyes, nostrils or mouth, you should rinse it out immediately with clean water. Contact your doctor if you become worried or experience any adverse effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you swallow it.
Can I use Vaniqa cream during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
This medication is not suitable for women who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. If this is the case, you should tell your doctor, who will recommend another treatment for you to use, which will be safer for you and your baby.
If you think you might be pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, you should make sure you tell your doctor, who will recommend an alternative form of treatment for excessive hair growth.
More information on using Vaniqa cream during pregnancy and breastfeeding can be found here.
Vaniqa Cream Ingredients
The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Eflornithine hydrochloride monohydrate
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics.
How much does it cost to buy Vaniqa cream online in the UK?
Dosage Quantity Price Vaniqa 11.5% (Eflornithine) Cream 1 x 60g tube £74.99
How effective is Vaniqa?Clinical trials showed that 70% of participants who used Vaniqa noticed a reduction in facial hair. For the most effective treatment, Vaniqa cream needs to be applied twice a day consistently.
What if I stop using it?If you stop using Vaniqa cream, the usual rate of hair production will begin again and excessive hair growth will likely come back within 8 weeks.
How long will one tube of cream last?One tube of Vaniqa can last for anywhere up to six months, depending on the size of the area you need to treat.
Can any oral medication stop facial hair from growing?The contraceptive pill can help to reduce the excessive growth of hair in some women. This is because it helps to control your hormones. However, you should only use medication that has been prescribed by a doctor.
What if it doesn’t work?Speak to your doctor if you find that Vaniqa cream does not help to diminish the growth of your hair. They may refer you to a specialist.
Why do I have excessive hair growth?A number of reasons can be behind excessive hair growth, including genetics, certain medications, your ethnic background (Asian or South-East Asian women often have darker hair that is more noticeable) and hormonal changes.
Can I drink alcohol while using it?Alcohol will not have any effect on Vaniqa cream.
How long does it take to work?Assuming you apply Vaniqa cream twice daily, you should start to notice an improvement after between four and eight weeks.
Will it permanently remove unwanted hair?No, Vaniqa will only slow down the growth of hair. It does not remove hair or stop new hair from growing. This is why it is important you keep using it each day.
How can I permanently remove hair?Treatments like laser hair removal and electrolysis can help you to remove hair for longer periods of time. It is important that these procedures are only carried out by trained and certified professionals.
Updated on: 27/09/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
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