Get Rid of the Red! New Gel Medication for Rosacea

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Rosacea is a common problem and the redness and flushing that goes along with it is a bummer for rosacea sufferers. There are two good topical medications for the pimples and acne associated with rosacea: metronidazole and Finacea (azelaic acid) but there hasn’t been much help for the redness. Until now.

Meet Mirvaso. First, a gel or cream always sounds better than a pill, right? You have way less side effects to worry about. It will be called Mirvaso, and is coming to you in the next few months.

Why would you need Mirvaso? Facial redness and erythema is a common rosacea symptom. Before now, not many of the rosacea meds worked well for the redness.

How do you use it? You will apply a pea-size amount once daily as a thin layer across the entire face covering the central forehead, each cheek, nose, and chin

What the heck is it? Topical 0.33% brimonidine gel, Mirvaso, is a vasoconstrictor that has been shown to reduce the redness. Topical brimonidine gel appears to be well-tolerated though rare side effects were flushing, skin burning sensation, and contact dermatitis.

As always, new medications are expensive so look out for discount coupons and ask your doctor about samples.

Dr O.

Mirvaso is likely to cost about $275 to $300 per tube with a discount card or coupon, and may not be covered by many insurance plans. If covered, it is likely to be a Tier 2 or 3 medication, meaning you’ll pay a higher co-pay. For insured patients, the manufacturer does offer a co-pay card that reduces each prescription to $50 if your plan covers it and $80 if it does not. You can find more information here:

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