Is Vaniqa discontinued? Unwanted facial hair can be treated with the topical cream Vaniqa. When used properly, this medication is quite safe. This product can only be obtained with a prescription. Eflornithine topical is sold under the trade name Vaniqa. It is available in the following formulations: VANIQA (eflornithine hydrochloride cream; topical). Vaniqa was discontinued by Allergan (Abbvie) in the first quarter of 2023.
Vaniqa reduces hair growth by interfering with a chemical in the hair follicles beneath the skin where it is used. Vaniqa cream does not stop hair growth or permanently remove facial hair. Let us know more about this medication product in detail in this article.
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Eflornithine as vaniqa
A drug called Eflornithine is also known by the brand name Vaniqa. It is used to treat hirsutism in women and African trypanosomiasis, also known as the “sleeping sickness.”
The medical use of Eflornithine began in 1990 after its development in the 1970s. It is listed as one of the essential medicines by the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. are the source of the injectable form. The World Health Organization offers Eflornithine without charge in areas of the world where the illness is widespread.
Eflornithine is available topically under the trade name Vaniqa. Acne is the most commonly reported adverse effect (7–14%) of this. Other side effects that (more than 1% reported) are caused by this are skin issues. They are skin reactions from in-growing hair, hair loss, burning, tingling sensations, dry skin, redness, or rash.
Gillette was granted a patent in the 1980s for discovering that topical use of eflornithine HCl cream restricts hair growth. Gillette carried out Eflornithine dose-ranging tests on hirsute women in the 1990s. It showed that the medication reduces the growth of facial hair. The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vaniqa’s new medication application in July 2000. The European Commission released its marketing permission the next year.
The only topical prescription medication that reduces the growth of facial hair is Vaniqa. It has received marketing approval from many agencies. This includes the European Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is the only non-hormonal, non-systemic prescription alternative offered to women with facial hirsutism. Also, it is non-mechanical and non-cosmetic.
The companies that promote Vaniqa are:
- Almirall in Europe,
- SkinMedica in the U.S.,
- Triton in Canada,
- Medison in Israel, and
- Menarini in Australia
How is Vaniqa offered?
Vaniqa is a cream with a white to off-white tint that is readily available. In Europe, it is offered in 30 g and 60 g tubes. In a cream for topical use. Vaniqa includes:
- 15% w/w eflornithine hydrochloride monohydrate, which is equivalent to 11.5% w/w anhydrous eflornithine (E.U.) and
- 13.9% w/w anhydrous eflornithine hydrochloride (U.S.)
The dosage of Ornidyl, which was designed for injection, was 200 mg of eflornithine hydrochloride per ml. Eflornithine hydrochloride comes in the injectable form of Ornidyl. Sanofi-Aventis licensed this, but it is no longer sold in the U.S.
Who manufactures Vaniqa?
Allergan Pharmaceutical manufactures Vaniqa. An American pharmaceutical business with an Irish domicile is called Allergan plc. Actavis, a generic drug company owned by Allergan, was sold to Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2016 for $40.5 billion. AbbVie, a U.S. pharmaceutical company, revealed in June 2019 that an agreement had been struck to buy Allergan for $63 billion. For tax reasons, the combined business would have a U.S. domicile.
Vaniqa topical cream, Allergan (AbbVie), 13.9%, 45-gram tube, NDC 00023-4857-45, is one of the AbbVie products that is affected by the recall. Vaniqa was discontinued by Allergan (Abbvie) in the first quarter of 2023.
Vaniqa (Eflornithine) cream
Hirsutism is a condition that results in excessive hair growth in specific body areas. It primarily affects women and those who are biologically designated as female. Although there is no known cause of hirsutism, it is a sign of various illnesses, such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Losing weight, taking drugs, and using other hair removal methods are all possible treatments for this illness.
5% to 10% of women and AFAB people who are close to childbearing age suffer from hirsutism. Over 40% of women and AFABs experience it at some point in the course of their lives.
Eflornithine suppresses the growth of hair where it is applied. It does so by interfering with a chemical in the hair follicles under the skin. Women may remove unfavorable facial hair using an eflornithine topical treatment. The topical Eflornithine does not permanently get rid of or prevent facial hair growth.
For hirsutism, doctors may prescribe Vaniqa (Eflornithine). Additionally, Vaniqa may be used for other conditions not included in that medicine guide. Unwanted facial hair does not vanish when taking Vaniqa. Patients utilizing Vaniqa cream must maintain their hair removal procedures while using the cream. It’s because it slows down the rate at which hair grows. The frequency with which various hair removal techniques must be used is reduced by vaniqa. It could take up to three to four months for its positive effects to become evident.
Vaniqa cream should be applied twice daily, at least eight hours apart, to the areas where undesired hair is growing. After application, the treated area shouldn’t be cleaned for at least an hour. Once the cream has dried, it is safe to apply makeup to the treated regions. You must put on the cream for at least five minutes after removing the hair.
The majority of patients tolerate vaniqa well. There is a minimal possibility of some minor skin irritation when the cream is applied. But it is just like any treatment that is applied topically.
With their hair removal methods, patients regularly get support from Vaniqa. Sadly, after treatment is stopped, hair grows back in accordance with its regular cycle. Thus, ladies must use hair removal techniques more frequently.
Lasers or electrolysis are the only permanent hair removal options. The majority of the time, many therapies are unfortunately necessary, and they could be quite expensive. Patients frequently use Vaniqa to stop hair growth while also undergoing electrolysis or laser treatment.
As per the study, VANIQA (cream formulation of eflornithine hydrochloride) has an approval date of July 27, 2000. However, the company has since stopped making its formulations.
Discontinuation of Vaniqa (Eflornithine) and its impact
A piece of writing about Vaniqa was published by Dr. Warren R. Heymann, MD, FAAD. He claims:
“I was made aware of the discontinuation of Vaniqa (eflornithine-difluoromethylornithine [DFMO]). Eflornithine topical was made available in 2000 to treat facial hirsutism. I remember being attracted by the drug’s mechanics when it first came out. Eflornithine works by permanently inhibiting ornithine decarboxylase. It is an enzyme that initiates the conversion of ornithine to polyamine putrescine. This is essential for hair development.”
“Several studies showed effectiveness in comparison to controls. The benefit was increased when paired with mechanical techniques. It includes shaving, waxing, threading, plucking, and chemical depilatories. Also with other medicinal anti-androgens (oral contraceptives, spironolactone), and the alexandrite laser, “he continued.
According to him, (1,2) topical eflornithine cream proved to have an additive impact when used alongside long-pulsed Nd: YAG lasers. It will speed up the rate and extent of hair loss. As well as the development of inflammatory papules in pseudofolliculitis barbae in males.
He added, “Although I have prescribed eflornithine cream for patients throughout the twenty-first century, I cannot claim that I was particularly taken with the medication. Some patients reported a slight benefit, while others reported less. I was unhappy that Vaniqa was taken off the market, though. 13.9% eflornithine hydrochloride cream is referred to as Florexa on drugs.com.”
It is to be noted that the FDA hasn’t determined that this medicine is both safe and effective. This labeling has not received FDA approval, and Florexa is not sold in the U.S. Eflornithine is available from compounding pharmacies.
The future of healthcare frequently brings up the topic of drug repurposing. DFMO is a medication that has been around since 1978. It has led to many different lives. It was first created as a rather unremarkable anti-cancer medication. Later, it became known as “the resurrection drug.” It’s because it brought patients with West African sleeping disease (trypanosomiasis) back to life. Later, it came back with greater success in treating juvenile neuroblastoma and colorectal cancer, in addition to its Vaniqa version for hirsutism.
Vaniqa (Eflornithine) is not available right now. Vaniqa may be offered for sale by dubious online pharmacies in an illegal generic form. These drugs could be risky duplicates. Make sure you get prescription drugs from a trustworthy and legitimate online pharmacy if you buy them online. If you have any concerns about ordering any drug online, always consult your doctor.
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