Finacea is a brand-name prescription drug that’s approved to treat mild to moderate rosacea in adults.

Specifically, Finacea is FDA-approved to treat papules and pustules caused by rosacea. Papules are red bumps. These bumps can develop a center of pus, becoming pustules. With rosacea, papules and pustules can occur on your cheeks, nose, and forehead.

Finacea contains the active drug azelaic acid. It belongs to a group of medications called topical anti-acne agents.

Finacea foam vs. Finacea gel

Finacea is available in the following two forms:

  • Finacea foam, which comes inside an aluminum can
  • Finacea gel, which comes inside a tube or pump bottle

Both forms are available in the same strength: 15%. And they’re both meant to be applied to your face twice daily.

However, the risk of certain side effects may differ between the forms. For example, the risk of burning or stinging on your skin may be lower with Finacea foam than with Finacea gel. For more information about possible side effects of Finacea, see the “Finacea side effects” section below.

Effectiveness

In clinical trials, Finacea reduced the number of facial lesions in people with rosacea. For example, in one trial:

  • people who used Finacea gel had their number of facial lesions reduced by nearly 58%
  • people who used a placebo gel (gel with no active drug) had their number of facial lesions reduced by nearly 40%

For more information on Finacea’s effectiveness in treating rosacea, see the “Finacea for rosacea” section below.

Whether a generic form of Finacea is available depends on which form of the drug you’re using. Below, we describe generic forms of Finacea that are available.

Finacea gel

Finacea gel is available as a generic drug called azelaic acid. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Finacea foam

Finacea foam is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Finacea to treat certain conditions. Finacea is FDA-approved for use in adults with rosacea. Specifically, this drug is approved to treat papules and pustules in adults with mild to moderate rosacea.

(Finacea may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition. See the “Off-label uses for Finacea” section below to learn more.)

What happens in rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic (long-lasting) skin condition. It’s most notable for causing papules and pustules. Papules are red bumps. These bumps can develop a center of pus, becoming pustules. Papules and pustules are also referred to as inflammatory lesions. Typically, rosacea only affects the skin on your cheeks, forehead, and nose.

In addition to inflammatory lesions, other symptoms of rosacea can include:

During rosacea flare-ups, you’ll have increased symptoms from the condition. Rosacea flare-ups may occur in cycles. This means you may have the flare-ups for weeks or months at a time, and then the flare-ups go away. But they’ll return again later.

What Finacea does for rosacea

It’s not completely understood how Finacea works to treat rosacea. But clinical trials have shown that the drug is effective at reducing the number of inflammatory lesions in adults with this condition. Below, we describe results from these clinical trials.

Effectiveness of Finacea for rosacea

In one clinical trial, people with rosacea used either Finacea gel or a placebo gel (gel with no active drug). They applied either treatment to their face twice daily for 12 weeks.

The people weren’t allowed to use any other medications or treatments for their rosacea. And they were instructed to avoid spicy foods, hot foods and drinks, and alcohol. (These substances can sometimes trigger rosacea flare-ups.)

Researchers found that compared with the people’s condition before the study:

  • people who used Finacea gel had their number of facial lesions reduced by nearly 58%
  • people who used the placebo gel had their number of facial lesions reduced by nearly 40%

In another trial, researchers compared Finacea foam with a placebo foam. Similar to the Finacea gel trial, people in this trial also weren’t allowed to use any other medications or treatments for their rosacea. And they were instructed to avoid spicy foods, hot foods and drinks, and alcohol.

In this trial, researchers found that compared with the people’s condition before the study:

  • people who used Finacea foam had their number of facial lesions reduced by an average of 13.2
  • people who used the placebo had their number of facial lesions reduced by an average of 10.3

Finacea and children

Finacea isn’t approved for use in children. This is because the drug wasn’t studied in people younger than 18 years of age. It’s not known if Finacea is safe or effective for use in children.

If you have questions about using Finacea for your child, talk with your child’s doctor. They can recommend safe and effective treatment options for your child to use.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Finacea to treat certain conditions. Specifically, this drug is approved to treat papules and pustules in adults with mild to moderate rosacea. See the “Finacea for rosacea” section above to read about this condition in more detail.

In addition, Finacea may be used off-label for other purposes. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition. Below are examples of off-label uses for Finacea.

Finacea for acne

Finacea isn’t FDA-approved to treat acne. However, both Finacea gel and Finacea foam are sometimes used off-label for this condition. Research is limited, but one study that looked at using Finacea foam found it to be effective in treating acne.

The active drug in Finacea, called azelaic acid, is also the active drug in a medication called Azelex. Unlike Finacea, Azelex is approved to treat acne. And while Finacea contains 15% azelaic acid, Azelex contains 20% azelaic acid.

If you have questions about treatment options for acne, talk with your doctor. Together, you’ll come up with a treatment plan that’s best for you.

Finacea for melasma

Finacea isn’t approved to treat melasma. But products that contain its active ingredient, called azelaic acid, are sometimes used off-label to treat the condition.

With melasma, you may have brown or gray patches on your skin, mainly affecting your face. Melasma most commonly affects the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip. It’s not known for sure what causes melasma.

One study found that products containing azelaic acid were effective in reducing the number of melasma lesions people had.

If you have questions about using azelaic acid to treat melasma, talk with your doctor. They can recommend appropriate treatment options for your condition.

Finacea for perioral dermatitis

Finacea isn’t approved to treat perioral dermatitis. But studies have shown that azelaic acid, the active drug in Finacea, is effective in treating inflammation that’s caused by this condition.

With perioral dermatitis, you have small scaly patches or a rash around your mouth. If you have light-colored skin, the lesions may appear pink in color. Sometimes the condition can spread to around your nose or eyes (a condition called periorificial dermatitis).

It’s not known for sure what causes perioral dermatitis. But some experts think it could be caused by using strong topical steroids or certain cosmetic ingredients on your face.

If you have questions about treating perioral dermatitis, talk with your doctor. They’ll work with you to determine the best treatment options for you.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Finacea comes in two forms: gel and foam. Both forms of Finacea contain the same active drug: azelaic acid. And they’re available in the same strength: 15%.

Dosage for rosacea

For rosacea, either Finacea gel or Finacea foam should be applied to affected areas of your face. Either drug should be applied twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. If you have questions about how much Finacea you’ll need to apply, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

What if I miss a dose?

If you forget to apply a dose of Finacea gel or Finacea foam, just skip that dose and wait until your next scheduled dose. You shouldn’t “double up” your next dose to try to make up for the missed dose. Doing so can increase your risk of side effects from Finacea.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose of Finacea, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Finacea is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Finacea is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term. But if you don’t have any improvement in your rosacea after 12 weeks of Finacea treatment, your doctor will assess your situation. They’ll recommend whether you should continue to use Finacea.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Finacea.

Will I see a difference before and after using Finacea?

Yes, you likely will. In fact, in clinical studies, both Finacea gel and Finacea foam were effective in reducing the number of facial lesions in people with rosacea.

You can view some before and after photos on the drug manufacturer’s site.

If I’m using Finacea, do I need to avoid sun exposure?

Possibly. The manufacturer of Finacea hasn’t stated anything specific about avoiding sunlight while you’re using this product. However, according to the National Rosacea Society, sun exposure is a common trigger for rosacea flare-ups. (With a rosacea flare-up, your symptoms of the condition become worse.)

So if sun exposure is a trigger for your rosacea, you’ll want to make sure you take precautions before going out into the sun. For example, it may be helpful to wear sunscreen or a sun hat if you’re going outside.

If you have questions about sun exposure while you’re using Finacea, talk with your doctor.

Can Finacea be used to treat wrinkles or as an antiaging product?

Some studies have shown that azelaic acid, the active drug in Finacea, may be effective in reducing signs of aging.

However, Finacea isn’t typically used for these purposes. It isn’t approved to treat wrinkles or to be used as an antiaging product. But it can be prescribed off-label for these purposes. (With off-label use, a drug that’s approved for one use is prescribed for a different use that’s not approved.)

If you’d like to know more about treating wrinkles or reducing signs of aging, talk with your doctor. They can recommend appropriate products for your condition.

Is there a moisturizer that’s best to use with Finacea?

No, not really. The manufacturer of Finacea doesn’t recommend a specific type of moisturizer to use with the drug.

One clinical study looked at using a variety of moisturizers with azelaic acid, which is the active drug in Finacea. The study didn’t find that any moisturizer had a major impact on how skin absorbs azelaic acid.

The study also showed that you can apply a moisturizer either before or after you apply azelaic acid. There wasn’t any difference in how well the drug was absorbed based on when a moisturizer was applied.

If you have questions about using moisturizers with Finacea, talk with your doctor.

Is Finacea a retinoid?

No, Finacea isn’t a retinoid. (Retinoids are drugs that are made from vitamin A.) Instead, Finacea contains the active drug azelaic acid. It belongs to a group of medications known as topical anti-acne agents.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, using retinoids during a rosacea flare-up can irritate your skin. (During a flare-up, you have increased symptoms of the condition.) However, applying retinoids after a flare-up can help prevent another one from occurring.

If you’d like to know more about using retinoids for rosacea, talk with your doctor. They can recommend whether a retinoid would be a good treatment option for your condition.

Can I apply makeup or other facial products while I’m using Finacea?

Yes, you can apply certain types of makeup and other facial products while you’re using Finacea. In fact, some studies have shown that vitamin C serum may be effective in helping to reduce skin redness in people with rosacea, which Finacea is used to treat.

However, because they may worsen your rosacea, the following products should be avoided:

  • cleansers that contain alcohol
  • tinctures or astringents
  • abrasives or peeling agents

Before applying Finacea, you’ll want to gently wash the area of your face where you’ll be applying the medication. To do this, use either very mild soap or a cleansing lotion that doesn’t contain soap.

If you use makeup, be sure to wait until after either your Finacea gel or Finacea foam has dried. Once the medication has fully dried, you can apply cosmetics.

If you have questions about using makeup or other facial products while you’re using Finacea, talk with your doctor.

Will Finacea cure my rosacea?

No, unfortunately, Finacea won’t cure your rosacea. In fact, there’s currently no known cure for this condition.

However, Finacea can help reduce the number of facial lesions you have from rosacea. For more information about Finacea’s effectiveness in treating this condition, see the “Finacea for rosacea” section above.

Can Finacea be used to treat acne?

Yes, sometimes, Finacea is used to treat acne. But keep in mind that Finacea isn’t approved for this condition, so this is an off-label use. (With off-label use, a drug that’s approved for one use is prescribed for a different use that’s not approved.)

For more information about using Finacea to treat acne, see the “Off-label uses for Finacea” section above.

Other drugs are available that can treat rosacea. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Finacea, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed below are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat rosacea include:

You may wonder how Finacea compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Finacea and Soolantra are alike and different.

Ingredients

Finacea contains the active drug azelaic acid. It belongs to a group of medications called topical anti-acne agents.

Soolantra, on the other hand, contains the active drug ivermectin. It belongs to a group of medications called antiparasitics.

Note: Only ivermectin tablets that are taken by mouth are used to treat parasitic infections. As an ivermectin cream, Soolantra is only used to treat rosacea.

Uses

Finacea is approved to treat papules and pustules in adults with mild to moderate rosacea. Papules are red bumps. These bumps can develop a center of pus, becoming pustules. (Papules and pustules are also called inflammatory lesions.)

Soolantra is also approved to treat inflammatory lesions of rosacea. However, unlike Finacea, Soolantra is approved to treat rosacea of all severity types, including severe rosacea.

Drug forms and administration

Finacea is available in two forms: gel and foam. Both of these forms are applied topically to your face twice daily.

Soolantra comes as a cream that’s applied topically to your face once daily.

Side effects and risks

Finacea and Soolantra can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Finacea, with Soolantra, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Finacea:
    • itchy skin
    • dry or scaly skin
    • redness to your skin
  • Can occur with Soolantra:
    • no unique mild side effects
  • Can occur with both Finacea and Soolantra:
    • burning, stinging, or tingling of your skin
    • skin irritation

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Finacea, with Soolantra, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Finacea:
  • Can occur with Soolantra:
    • no unique serious side effects
  • Can occur with both Finacea and Soolantra:

Effectiveness

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. But separate studies have found both Finacea and Soolantra to be effective in treating rosacea.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Finacea generally costs a little less than Soolantra costs. But the actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Finacea and Soolantra are both brand-name drugs. Both drugs are also available as generics. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.) Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

Specifically, Finacea gel is available as a generic drug called azelaic acid. This drug is the active ingredient in both Finacea gel and Finacea foam. But Finacea foam isn’t available as a generic drug.

Soolantra is available as a generic drug that’s called ivermectin.

Like Soolantra, which is described just above, medications other than Finacea are also prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Finacea and Metrogel are alike and different.

Ingredients

Finacea contains the active drug azelaic acid. It belongs to a group of medications called topical anti-acne agents.

Metrogel, on the other hand, contains the active drug metronidazole. It belongs to a group of medications called antibiotics.

Uses

Finacea is approved to treat papules and pustules in adults with mild to moderate rosacea. Papules are red bumps. These bumps can develop a center of pus, becoming pustules. (Papules and pustules are also called inflammatory lesions.)

Metrogel is also approved to treat inflammatory lesions of rosacea. However, unlike Finacea, Metrogel is approved for treating rosacea of all severity types, including severe rosacea.

Drug forms and administration

Finacea is available in two forms: gel and foam. Both of these forms are applied topically to your face twice daily.

Metrogel comes as a gel that’s applied topically to your face once daily.

Side effects and risks

Finacea and Metrogel can cause very similar side effects, but some different ones as well. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with Finacea, with Metrogel, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Finacea:
    • itchy skin
    • scaly skin
  • Can occur with Metrogel:
    • headache
  • Can occur with both Finacea and Metrogel:
    • dry skin
    • burning, stinging, or tingling skin
    • redness or irritation to your skin

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Finacea, with Metrogel, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. But separate studies have found both Finacea and Metrogel to be effective in treating rosacea.

Costs

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Finacea generally costs a little more than Metrogel costs. But the actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Finacea and Metrogel are both brand-name drugs. But they’re also both available as generic drugs. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.) Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

Finacea gel is available as a generic drug called azelaic acid. This drug is the active ingredient in both Finacea gel and Finacea foam. But Finacea foam isn’t available as a generic drug.

Metrogel is available as a generic drug that’s called metronidazole 1%.

Finacea can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Finacea. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Finacea, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Finacea, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Finacea can include:*

  • burning, stinging, or tingling skin
  • itchy skin
  • dry or scaly skin
  • skin redness or irritation

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Finacea. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or visit the prescribing information for Finacea gel and Finacea foam.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Finacea aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects of Finacea, which are explained in more detail below in “Side effect details,” include:

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug.Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after using Finacea. But it’s not known how many people using Finacea gel or Finacea foam have had an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Finacea. But call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Burning, stinging, or itching

After applying Finacea, you may notice some burning, stinging, or itching on your skin. In fact, these symptoms were some of the most common side effects in people who used Finacea during clinical studies.

For example, in clinical studies of Finacea gel and Finacea foam, skin burning, stinging, or tingling was reported in:

  • 4% to 16% of people who used Finacea gel
  • 1% to 2% of people who used a placebo gel (gel with no active drug)
  • 6.2% of people who used Finacea foam
  • 1.5% of people who used a placebo foam (foam with no active drug)

In addition, itchy skin was reported in:

  • 1% to 6% of people who used Finacea gel
  • 0% to 3% of people who used a placebo gel
  • 2.5% of people who used Finacea foam
  • 0.3% of people who used a placebo foam

As you can see, how often these side effects occur may differ depending on which form of Finacea you use. But they appear to be more likely with Finacea gel compared with Finacea foam. Also, burning, stinging, and itching are most likely to occur during your first several weeks using Finacea.

If you have severe or long-lasting burning, stinging, or itching while you’re using Finacea, stop using the drug and talk with your doctor. If you were first prescribed Finacea gel, your doctor may recommend that you instead use Finacea foam. Or they may recommend a different medication altogether for your rosacea.

Breakouts

Although rare, it’s possible to have acne breakouts while you’re using Finacea gel. But acne breakouts weren’t reported as a side effect during clinical studies of Finacea foam.

In clinical studies of Finacea gel, about 1% of people using the gel had acne. Less than 1% of people who used a placebo gel had breakouts. (A placebo gel contains no active drug.)

If you have an acne breakout while you’re using Finacea, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a medication for you to use with Finacea to help reduce the acne. If you were first prescribed Finacea gel, your doctor may recommend that you instead use Finacea foam. Or they may recommend a different medication altogether for your rosacea.

Dry skin

Dry skin is a possible side effect of both Finacea gel and Finacea foam.

For example, in clinical studies of Finacea gel, dry skin affected:

  • 1% to 5% of people who used Finacea gel
  • 1% to 9% of people who used a placebo gel (gel with no active drug)

And in clinical studies of Finacea foam, dry skin affected:

  • 0.7% of people who used Finacea foam
  • 0.7% of people who used a placebo foam (foam with no active drug)

If you have dry skin while you’re using Finacea, talk with your doctor. They may suggest a moisturizer for you to use with Finacea to help reduce your dry skin. If you were first prescribed Finacea gel, your doctor may recommend that you instead use Finacea foam. Or they may recommend a different medication altogether for your rosacea.

Hypopigmentation

With hypopigmentation, you have patches of skin that lack skin color. (Pigmentation refers to the color of your skin. It comes from a substance made by your skin that’s called melanin.)

There have been a few reports of people with a dark skin complexion who’ve had hypopigmentation after using either Finacea gel or Finacea foam. But this side effect didn’t occur during clinical trials of the drugs. So it’s not know for certain how often hypopigmentation occurs with Finacea use.

If you have a dark complexion, be aware that hypopigmentation may occur in the areas where you apply Finacea. Your doctor should also monitor you for hypopigmentation when you’re using Finacea.

If you have questions about using Finacea given your skin complexion, talk with your doctor. They can recommend appropriate treatment options for you.

Finacea is approved to treat inflammatory skin lesions caused by mild to moderate rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic (long-lasting) skin condition. It’s most notable for causing papules and pustules. Papules are red bumps. These bumps can develop a center of pus, becoming pustules. These bumps are also referred to as inflammatory lesions. Typically, rosacea only affects the skin on your cheeks, forehead, and nose.

The cause of rosacea isn’t known for sure. And it’s also not known exactly how Finacea works to treat rosacea. But clinical trials have shown that both Finacea gel and Finacea foam are effective in reducing the number of inflammatory lesions caused by the condition in adults.

For more information about rosacea and Finacea’s effectiveness in treating it, see the “Finacea for rosacea” section above.

How long does it take Finacea to work?

Finacea begins working as soon as you apply it to your face. However, it may take up to 12 weeks before you notice improvement in your rosacea.

It’s important that you don’t stop using the medication before that time. The exception is if your doctor instructs you to do so or you have bothersome or severe side effects from the drug.

It’s not known for sure whether it’s safe to use Finacea during pregnancy. This is because there haven’t been clinical studies done in pregnant women using the drug.

In animal studies, some harm was seen in developing embryos exposed to azelaic acid, which is the active drug in Finacea. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

Also, it’s important to note that the pregnant animals in these studies received azelaic acid by mouth. (Finacea is only approved for topical use in humans.) And the animals received dosages of azelaic acid that were much larger than those used in humans.

If you have questions about using Finacea during pregnancy, talk with your doctor.

It’s not known if Finacea is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Finacea.

For more information about taking Finacea during pregnancy, see the “Finacea and pregnancy” section above.

It isn’t known if Finacea is safe to use while you’re breastfeeding. Studies have shown that azelaic acid, the active drug in Finacea, may be present in human breast milk.

However, only about 4% of azelaic acid that’s applied to your skin is absorbed into your body. (Azelaic acid is the active drug in Finacea.) Because of this, the National Institute of Health considers topically applied azelaic acid to be of low risk to a child who’s breastfed.

If you have additional questions about using Finacea while breastfeeding, talk with your doctor.

You should take Finacea according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Both Finacea gel and Finacea foam are only meant to be applied directly on your skin. Finacea is approved to treat rosacea, which primarily affects the face. So Finacea is typically applied to the skin on the face.

You shouldn’t apply Finacea on your eyes, mouth, insides of your nose or ears, or genitals. If Finacea does get into your eyes, be sure to wash it out with water. Doing so will help prevent eye irritation. Be sure to call your doctor if eye discomfort persists.

Before applying either form of Finacea, gently wash the area of your skin where you plan to apply the medication. To do this, use either very mild soap or a cleansing lotion that doesn’t contain any soap. Afterward, pat your skin with a towel to dry it.

Be sure to wash your hands right after applying a dose of Finacea. And after applying the drug, don’t use a water- or air-tight wrapping on the areas where you applied Finacea. Using one of these dressings may increase your risk of side effects from the drug.

In addition, if you’re using Finacea foam, be sure to shake the drug’s container well before applying your dose.

When to use

You’ll apply Finacea gel or foam twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

With each use, you’ll apply just enough medication to make a thin layer over the areas of your face where you have rosacea lesions.

How long to use

If you and your doctor determine that Finacea is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term. But if you don’t have any improvement in your rosacea after 12 weeks of Finacea treatment, your doctor will assess your situation. They’ll recommend whether you should continue to use Finacea.

You shouldn’t drink alcohol while you’re using Finacea. In fact, in clinical studies of both Finacea gel and Finacea foam, people using the drug were instructed to avoid alcohol.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, research has shown that alcohol may increase the risk of rosacea, which Finacea is used to treat. It’s not known for sure why this is the case. And further research is needed to know more about the possible link between alcohol and rosacea.

If you have questions about drinking alcohol while you’re using Finacea, talk with your doctor.

There aren’t any known interactions between Finacea and other medications, herbs, supplements, or foods. In clinical studies of Finacea gel and Finacea foam, the manufacturer didn’t study drug interactions with Finacea. However, while there aren’t any known drug interactions with Finacea, it doesn’t mean that interactions will never occur.

To be safe, before taking Finacea, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Certain products that should be avoided while using Finacea

It’s important to note that certain products should be avoided while you’re using Finacea. This isn’t because the products interact with Finacea. But rather, it’s because using the products may worsen your rosacea, which Finacea is used to treat.

Products that should be avoided with Finacea include:

  • cleansers that contain alcohol
  • tinctures or astringents
  • abrasives or peeling agents

As with all medications, the cost of Finacea can vary. To find current prices for Finacea gel (or foam) in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Before approving coverage for Finacea, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Finacea, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Finacea, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

LEO Pharma, Inc., the manufacturer of Finacea, offers a savings card that may help lower the cost of Finacea foam. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 877-678-7494 or visit the manufacturer’s website.

If you’d like to learn about possible financial assistance for Finacea gel, visit Medicine Assistance Tool or talk with your pharmacist.

Generic version

Finacea gel is available as a generic drug called azelaic acid. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.) However, Finacea foam isn’t available as a generic drug.

Generics are considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If your doctor has prescribed Finacea gel for you, and you’re interested in using azelaic acid instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer to prescribe one medication or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance company, as they may cover only one medication or the other.

Before taking Finacea, talk with your doctor about your health history. Finacea may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Asthma. There have been reports of worsening asthma in people who use azelaic acid (the active drug in Finacea). This wasn’t reported in clinical trials of Finacea, but it has been reported in people using azelaic acid outside of clinical trials. If you have asthma or you feel that your asthma is worsening while you’re using Finacea, call your doctor right away. They can recommend whether it’s safe for you to use this drug. If your asthma symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Smoking. If you smoke, you’ll want to avoid doing so while applying and right after you’ve applied Finacea foam to your face. This is because Finacea foam contains ingredients that are flammable and may catch on fire.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Finacea or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t use Finacea. Instead, talk with your doctor about what other medications are better options for you. If you’re not sure about your medication allergies, talk with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Finacea is safe to use while you’re pregnant. For more information, please see the “Finacea and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not known if Finacea is safe to use while you’re breastfeeding. For more information, please see the “Finacea and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Finacea, see the “Finacea side effects” section above.

Do not use more Finacea than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you use too much Finacea

If you think you’ve used too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Finacea from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the tube, pump bottle, or can. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication. Directions for storing Finacea varies depending on the form of the drug you’re using. Below, we describe storage recommendations for each form.

Storing Finacea gel

Finacea gel comes in either a tube or a pump bottle. With either container, the gel should be stored at room temperature (77°F/25°C). For short periods of time, such as when you’re traveling, Finacea gel can be stored between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as in bathrooms.

Storing Finacea foam

Finacea foam comes in an aluminum can. It’s important to note that this container is flammable and its contents are stored under pressure. Right after applying Finacea foam, you should avoid open flames and smoking. You’ll also want to avoid placing cans of Finacea foam near heat or puncturing the cans.

Finacea foam should be stored at room temperature (77°F/25°C). For short periods of time, such as when you’re traveling, Finacea foam can be stored between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

Don’t store Finacea foam at temperatures above 120°F (49°C). And avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as in bathrooms.

Disposal

After opening a pump bottle of Finacea gel or a can of Finacea foam, you should discard the pump bottle or can after 8 weeks. It’s recommended that you do so even if there’s still medication left in it. Tubes of Finacea gel don’t need to be discarded after being open for 8 weeks. Instead, you can use tubes of Finacea gel until their expiration date.

If you no longer need to use Finacea and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Finacea is indicated to treat inflammatory papules and pustules caused by mild to moderate rosacea.

Finacea has not been evaluated for treating erythema that is due to rosacea, in the absence of pustules and papules.

Administration

Finacea is applied topically twice daily to affected areas of the face. Specifically, Finacea should be applied in the morning and in the evening. Finacea is typically used for 12 weeks. Reassess patients if no improvement is seen after the 12 weeks of treatment.

Instruct people using the drug to avoid applying cosmetics or other facial products until Finacea has completely dried. Also, avoid use of occlusive dressings or wrappings over drug application sites.

Mechanism of action

The mechanism of action of Finacea for treating inflammatory papules and pustules in rosacea is unknown.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Available data shows that neither Finacea gel nor Finacea foam increase plasma concentrations of azelaic acid beyond that expected from endogenous and nutrition metabolism.

Contraindications

There are currently no known contraindications to the use of Finacea.

Storage

Finacea gel and Finacea foam should be stored at 77°F (25°C). However, short-term temperature excursions are allowed between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).

Finacea gel pump bottles and Finacea foam cans should be discarded 8 weeks after opening. However, Finacea gel tubes can be used until their expiration date.

Finacea foam is flammable and its contents are stored under pressure. Do not expose Finacea foam to temperatures above 120°F (49°C).

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.