Eflornithine is used to slow the growth of unwanted hair on the face in women, usually around the lips or under the chin. It works by blocking a natural substance that is needed for hair to grow and is located in your hair follicle (the sac where each hair grows).

Side Effects Of Eflornithine

Eflornithine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • stinging, burning, or tingling of the skin
  • redness of the skin
  • skin rash
  • acne
  • swollen patches of skin that are reddened and contain a buried hair

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptom is uncommon, but if you experience it, stop using it and call your doctor immediately:

  • severe irritation of the skin
  • Eflornithine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before using eflornithine:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to eflornithine or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had severe acne.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using eflornithine, call your doctor.

Eflornithine Dosage

Eflornithine comes as a cream to apply to the skin. It is usually applied twice a day. To help you remember to apply eflornithine cream, apply it around the same times every day, such as in the morning and in the evening. You should wait at least 8 hours between applications of eflornithine. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Apply eflornithine cream exactly as directed. Do not apply more or less of it or apply it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Eflornithine cream slows hair growth but does not prevent it. You should continue to use your current method of hair removal (e.g., shaving, plucking, cutting) or treatment while using the cream. It may take four weeks or longer before you see the full benefit of eflornithine cream. Do not stop applying it without talking to your doctor. Stopping the use of eflornithine will cause hair to grow as it did before treatment. You should notice improvement (less time spent using your current method of hair removal) within 6 months of beginning treatment. If no improvement is seen, your doctor will likely ask you to stop using eflornithine.

To use eflornithine cream, follow these steps:

  • Wash and dry the affected area(s).
  • Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) and rub in until absorbed.
  • Apply eflornithine cream only to affected skin areas. Do not allow the cream to get into your eyes, mouth, or vagina.
  • You should wait at least 4 hours after applying eflornithine cream before washing the area where it was applied.
  • You should wait at least 5 minutes after using your current method of hair removal before applying eflornithine.
  • You may apply cosmetics or sunscreen after an application of eflornithine cream has dried.
  • You may feel temporary stinging or burning if you apply eflornithine to broken skin.


Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.