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- What is eflornithine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for eflornithine?
- Is eflornithine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for eflornithine?
- What are the side effects of eflornithine?
- What is the dosage for eflornithine?
- Is eflornithine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about eflornithine?
What is eflornithine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Eflornithine is the first topical drug (used on the skin) for the treatment of unwanted facial and chin hair. It does not remove the hair but rather slows its growth. The cells surrounding the base of each hair (called the hair follicle) undergo rapid growth and maturation as they transform into hairs. Certain proteins called polyamines are needed for this rapid cell growth and differentiation, and the production of these polyamines depends on the activity of an enzyme, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). Eflornithine is believed to block ODC, slowing the growth and differentiation of the cells within the hair follicles. Eflornithine was approved by the FDA in July 2000.
What brand names are available for eflornithine?
Is eflornithine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for eflornithine?
What are the side effects of eflornithine?
The most common side effects seen with eflornithine are:
- swollen patches that are sometimes reddened and contain a buried hair (pseudofolliculitis barbae),
- skin itching,
- dry or tingling skin,
- hair loss, and
- ingrown hairs.
Other important, but less common side effects are:
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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