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What is clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide is a combination of an antibiotic, clindamycin, and benzoyl peroxide, another drug that has antibacterial effects. Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide is used topically (applied to the skin) for the treatment of pimples (acne). Both agents are active against Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium which has been associated with acne. Clindamycin probably reduces acne by penetrating into the skin and killing bacteria that contribute to the formation of acne. Benzoyl peroxide works through several mechanisms. It kills the bacteria and promotes the growth of new skin cells. It also dries the skin. Increased cell growth leads to replacement of the pimples with new skin. Combaining clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide is more convenient than using them separately. The FDA approved clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide in December 2000.
Is clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide has not been tested in pregnant women.
Clindamycin/benzoyl Peroxide has not been tested among nursing women. Orally ingested clindamycin is secreted into breast milk and may cause side effects in the infant. Mothers should decide whether to stop breastfeeding or discontinue clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide.
What is the most important information I should know about benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical?
This medicine can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
What are some other side effects of Acanya?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where Acanya is used.
- Dry skin.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Dosage Forms and Strengths
Each gram of Acanya Gel contains 10 mg (1%) clindamycin as phosphate, and 25 mg (2.5%) benzoyl peroxide in a white to off-white, opaque, smooth gel.
Acanya Gel should not be used in combination with topical or oral erythromycin-containing products due to its clindamycin component. In vitro studies have shown antagonism between erythromycin and clindamycin. The clinical significance of this in vitro antagonism is not known.
Neuromuscular Blocking Agents
Clindamycin has been shown to have neuromuscular blocking properties that may enhance the action of other neuromuscular blocking agents. Therefore, Acanya Gel should be used with caution in patients receiving such agents.
Acanya Drug Class
Acanya is part of the drug class:
Use Acanya exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects. Do not use this medication for longer than your doctor has prescribed.
Avoid getting Acanya Gel in your eyes, mouth, or nose (or in the creases of your nose), or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not apply Acanya to sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin.
It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Although Acanya is applied to the skin, your body may absorb enough clindamycin to cause serious side effects. You may not be able to use this medication if you have inflammation of your intestines (also called enteritis), ulcerative colitis, or if you have ever had severe diarrhea caused by antibiotic medicine.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. This medication can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
What should I avoid?
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime. Do not use other medicated skin products unless your doctor has told you to.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Acanya Gel can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Avoid using sunscreen containing PABA on the same skin treated with Acanya, or skin discoloration may occur.
Benzoyl peroxide can bleach hair or fabrics. Do not let Acanya come into contact with clothing, hair, or colored towels or bed linens.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad irritation where this drug is used.