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Eflornithine Cream Combined with Laser Therapy in the Management of Unwanted Facial Hair Growth in Women: A Randomized Trial


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Stacy R. Smith, MD, Therapeutics Clinical Research, 9025 Balboa Avenue, Suite 105, San Diego, CA 92123, or e-mail:


BACKGROUND Eflornithine cream is approved for the reduction of unwanted facial hair in women. The mechanism of action for eflornithine is reduction in follicular cell growth rate, while laser photoepilation heats hair and adjacent tissues to suspend growth.

OBJECTIVE The objective was to assess the efficacy and safety of eflornithine or vehicle with laser therapy in the treatment of unwanted facial hair in women.

METHODS Subjects were randomized to treatment with eflornithine on one side of the face and vehicle on the contralateral side for 34 weeks. Subjects received Nd:YAG or alexandrite laser therapy to both sides of the face at Weeks 2 and 10. Blinded evaluations included left to right comparisons and appearance relative to baseline.

RESULTS Fifty-four women completed the trial. From Weeks 6 through 22, eflornithine-treated sides showed significant reduction in hair growth. By Week 34, no significant differences were seen. Subject grading showed significant and persistent hair reduction through Week 34 for eflornithine-treated sides. The safety profile for combination therapy is similar to eflornithine alone.

CONCLUSION Eflornithine is safely used in conjunction with laser hair removal treatments and promotes more rapid hair removal when combined with laser treatment. Patients demonstrate a clear preference for treatment with laser and eflornithine.