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Topical Oxymetazoline: A Novel Approach to Treat Rosacea

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  • Root Admin

Oxymetazoline is a vasoconstrictor which is commonly used in nasal sprays as a nasal decongestant. It works by causing the smooth muscle around blood vessels to contract, making the vessels smaller and less dilated. Thus it would appear to be a good candidate for treating rosacea.

Indeed, the Rosacea International Expert Group has noted that topical oxymetazoline has a role in the treatment of rosacea and the group recommends its use.
Studies have found that after applying oxymetazoline to the skin once a day, a decrease in redness was noted in 1 hour and the effect was sustained throughout the day. Continued application once a day over several months was associated with a marked improvement of rosacea symptoms. These results were sustained after prolonged use at 17 months.
When compared to the other agents currently used, oxymetazoline presents fewer issues with potential side effects and its application results in a rapid improvement of symptoms.

Border Compounding Pharmacy in Australia has formulated a 0.075% w/w oxymetazoline cream in an elegant, lightweight hypoallergenic cream designed for the face.

A doctor’s prescription is not required unlike Rhofade (1%) which is a prescription drug. 

Border Compounding Pharmacy is able to customise the cream to your specifications (for example, to manage sensitivities or if you do not wish to use specific particular ingredients).

For More Information Click Here

What is a compounding pharmacy?


This information was posted by Flugs in post #9 about an email received from Border Compounding Pharmacy: 

We can indeed formulate an oxymetazoline cream or gel in a variety of strengths. Oxymetazoline works by constricting the blood vessels in the surface of the skin, thus reducing the red appearance of rosacea. It works quite quickly – generally within an hour – and the effects last for 24 hours. It is important to only apply the cream once daily. 

There is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that strengths of as little as 0.05% oxymetazoline are effective in reducing the redness associated with rosacea. It is generally a good idea to start with a lower concentration as higher concentrations can constrict blood vessels too much, blood flow is restricted and this gives the areas of rosacea a white appearance .

We generally suggest a starting at 0.1% as this appears to give good results with minimal side effects. 
As we are a compounding pharmacy and not a manufacturer, we are bound by a few restrictions(as is the case in the US/Uk/Ire). Firstly, we need to prepare the product specifically for the individual and it will have your name on a dispensing label. Secondly, we are only allowed to assign a one month expiry date to the product in line with Australian pharmacy law (manufactured products can have much longer expiry dates). However, it is formulated in line with commercially available products and we would suggest the product would be fine to use for a while after this.

It is $49AUD for a 50g airless pump and international delivery is $30AUD. We can send an invoice via email, and when this is paid, we will compound the medication and send it off.

Lee McLoughlan
B.Pharm, Cert.Adv.Cos.Sci

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  • Root Admin

The topical use of oxymetazoline 0.05% solution in the management of rosacea has been primarily limited to data from case series involving fewer than 10 patients and demonstrating sustained improvements in both erythema and flushing. Alhough oxymetazoline is not recognized in national guidelines, an international consensus statement recognizes the possible therapeutic role of oxymetazoline in the management of rosacea, despite the limited evidence.

Hosp Pharm. 2013 Jul-Aug; 48(7): 558–559.
Published online 2013 Jul 9. doi:  10.1310/hpj4807-558
PMCID: PMC3839519
Oxymetazoline (Topical): Rosacea
Joyce A. Generali, RPh, MS, FASHP, (Editor) and Dennis J. Cada, PharmD, FASHP, FASCP

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