FINACEA FOAM (Page 2 of 3)

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of FINACEA Foam have not been established in pediatric patients.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of FINACEA Foam, 18.8 percent were 65 and over, while 7.2 percent were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.


FINACEA (azelaic acid) Foam contains 15% (w/w) azelaic acid, a naturally-occurring saturated dicarboxylic acid and is suspended in an oil-in-water emulsion vehicle. It is for topical use. Chemically, azelaic acid is 1,7-heptanedicarboxylic acid. The structural formula of azelaic acid is:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

Azelaic acid has a molecular formula of C9 H16 O4 and a molecular weight of 188.22.

The aluminum containers are filled with hydrophilic emulsion, crimped with a continuous spray valve, and pressurized with propellants consisting of propane, butane, and isobutane. Each gram of FINACEA Foam, 15% contains 0.15 g of azelaic acid. FINACEA Foam also contains benzoic acid (as a preservative), cetostearyl alcohol, dimethyl isosorbide, medium-chain triglycerides, methylcellulose, mono- and di-glycerides, polyoxyl 40 stearate, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium hydroxide (to adjust pH), and xanthan gum as inactive ingredients.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism(s) by which azelaic acid interferes with the pathogenic events in rosacea are unknown.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

The efficacy of FINACEA Foam is being driven by local mechanisms of azelaic acid within the skin.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics of azelaic acid and its metabolite pimelic acid was assessed in 21 adult subjects with moderate papulopustular rosacea with a minimum of 15 and no more than 50 inflammatory lesions (papules and/or pustules). Endogenous plasma concentrations of azelaic acid (range <1-105 ng/mL) and pimelic acid (range 0.69-27 ng/mL) were measured over various time points over 2 days prior to treatment initiation. The endogenous plasma concentrations varied widely across subjects and the mean ± SD values of endogenous azelaic acid plasma concentrations ranged between 4.5 ± 2.4 ng/mL and 14.6 ± 5.6 ng/mL and pimelic acid plasma concentrations ranged between 2.2 ± 1.1 ng/mL and 3.7 ± 3.1 ng/mL.

Following topical dermal applications of a mean dose of 0.94 g of FINACEA Foam (141 mg azelaic acid) twice daily for 7 consecutive days, systemic concentrations of azelaic acid were at steady state by Day 5. On Day 7, a wide range of maximum azelaic acid (22.2 to 90.1 ng/mL) and pimelic acid (2.3-16.9 ng/mL) plasma concentrations (Cmax ) was also observed after treatment with FINACEA Foam. The mean ± SD Cmax for azelaic acid and pimelic acid were 51.8 ± 18.5 ng/mL and 5.0 ± 3.0 ng/mL, respectively. The mean ± SD systemic exposure of azelaic acid and pimelic acid within a dosing interval (AUC0-12h ) were 442.0 ± 177.6 ng.h/mL and 43.4 ± 15.4 ng.h/mL, respectively.

Azelaic acid is mainly excreted unchanged in the urine, but undergoes some ß-oxidation to shorter chain dicarboxylic acids.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

In a 2-year dermal mouse carcinogenicity study, azelaic acid pre-foam emulsion was administered twice daily to CD-1 mice at topical doses of 5%, 15%, and 30% (500, 1500, and 3000 mg/kg/day azelaic acid). No drug-related tumors were noted at concentrations up to 30% azelaic acid (527 times the MRHD based on AUC comparison).

Azelaic acid was not mutagenic or clastogenic in a battery of in vitro [Ames assay, HGPRT assay in V79 cells (Chinese hamster lung cells), and chromosomal aberration assay in human lymphocytes] and in vivo (dominant lethal assay in mice and mouse micronucleus assay) genotoxicity tests.

Oral administration of azelaic acid at dose levels up to 2500 mg/kg/day (162 times the MRHD based on BSA comparison) did not affect fertility or reproductive performance in male or female rats.


The efficacy and safety of FINACEA Foam was evaluated in two multicenter, randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, 12-week clinical trials (Trials 1 and 2) in subjects with papulopustular rosacea, with a mean lesion count of 21.3 (range 12 to 50) inflammatory papules and pustules. A total of 1362 (active: 681; vehicle: 681) subjects aged 19 to 92 years (mean age = 50.6 years), 95.7% Caucasian, and 73.4% female participated in the trials. The following subjects were excluded: a) those with ocular rosacea, phymatous rosacea or plaque-type rosacea lesions; b) those with rosacea that requires systemic treatment; c) those who are known non-responders to azelaic acid, and d) those with a known hypersensitivity to any ingredients of the study drug. FINACEA Foam or its vehicle were to be applied twice daily for 12 weeks; no other topical or systemic medication affecting the course of rosacea and/or evaluability was to be used during the studies. Subjects were instructed to avoid any food and beverages that, by their own experience, may provoke erythema, flushing and blushing, including spicy food, hot drinks and alcoholic beverages during the study. Subjects were also instructed to avoid use of products which may cause local irritation such as soaps, alcohol-containing cleansers, tinctures and astringents, abrasives and peeling agents during the study.

The efficacy endpoints were 1) nominal change in inflammatory lesion count from baseline and 2) success defined as a score of “clear” or “minimal” with at least 2-step reduction from baseline on a 5-point Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA). Details on IGA are specified below:

Clear no papules and/or pustules; no erythema
Minimal rare papules and/or pustules; faint, up to but not including mild erythema
Mild few papules and/or pustules; mild erythema
Moderate pronounced number of papules and/or pustules, but less than numerous papules and/or pustules; moderate erythema
Severe numerous papules and/or pustules, occasionally with confluent areas of inflamed lesions; moderate to severe erythema

FINACEA Foam was superior to its vehicle in the treatment of rosacea in reducing the number of inflammatory papules and pustules and demonstrating success according to IGA at the end of treatment (Table 2).

Table 2: IGA Success Rate and Nominal Change in Inflammatory Lesion Count from Baseline to End of the 12-Week Treatment Period
Trial 1 Trial 2
FINACEA Foam, 15% Vehicle FINACEA Foam, 15% Vehicle
N=483 N=478 N=198 N=203
IGA success rate 32.1% 23.4% 43.4% 32.5%
Mean nominal change in inflammatory lesion count from baseline -13.2 -10.3 -13.3 -9.5

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