- Heartburn Slideshow: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
- 10 Facts About the Amazing Brain
- Weight Gain Shockers Slideshow Pictures
- 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 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:
Quick GuidePrescription Drug Abuse: Know The Warning Signs
What is the dosage for eflornithine?
Eflornithine should be applied in a thin layer around the affected facial areas and chin and rubbed-in thoroughly. It is applied twice daily with at least eight hours between applications or as directed by a physician. Eflornithine should not be washed away from the skin for at least eight hours after application. Cosmetics and sunscreens may be applied once the treated area has dried. Hair removal techniques such as tweezing should be continued. The hands should be washed immediately after using eflornithine.
Is eflornithine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There have been no studies of eflornithine therapy in pregnant women.
It is not known if eflornithine is secreted into breast milk.
What else should I know about eflornithine?
What preparations of eflornithine are available?
Eflornithine is available as a 30 gram tube of cream at a concentration of 13.9%.
How should I keep eflornithine stored?
Eflornithine should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F) and should not be frozen.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause...
Ingrown hairs may be caused by improper shaving, waxing, or blockage of the hair follicle. Symptoms and signs of ingrown hairs...
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Drugs and Treatment Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
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.
Top eflornithine Related Articles
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Folliculitis PictureAn infection of the hair follicles of the skin. See a picture of Folliculitis and learn more about the health topic.
Hair RemovalThere are many different types of hair removal: shaving, plucking, waxing, depilation, laser hair removal, oral medications, and electrolysis. Laser hair removal is one of the longest-lasting methods of hair removal. Unfortunately, no hair-removal technique is permanent when it comes to getting rid of unwanted hair.
Ingrown HairIngrown hairs may be caused by improper shaving, waxing, or blockage of the hair follicle. Symptoms and signs of ingrown hairs include itching, tenderness, and small red pus bumps. Ingrown hairs usually heal on their own, but topical antibiotics, chemical depilatories, and hair-removal laser may be used in the treatment of ingrown hairs.
MenopauseMenopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
MRI ScanMRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique which uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. MRI scanning is painless and does not involve X-ray radiation. Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned with MRI because of the effect of the magnet.
Polycystic OvaryPolycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman's stage of life and the symptoms of PCOS.