azelaic acid (Finacea, Azelex)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is azelaic acid gel-topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Azelaic acid is a topical (applied to the skin) medication used for treating acne. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown. Azelaic acid may work as an antibacterial agent that blocks protein synthesis and therefore growth of Propionibacterium acnes and other bacteria on the surface of the skin that are associated with the development of acne. It may also inhibit follicular keratinization, which prevents development of acne lesions. The FDA approved azelaic acid in September 1995.
  • References: FDA prescribing information

What brand names are available for azelaic acid gel-topical?

Finacea, Azelex

Is azelaic acid gel-topical available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for azelaic acid gel-topical?

Yes

What are the uses for azelaic acid gel-topical?

Azelaic acid is used for the treatment of acne vulgaris and treatment of inflammatory papule and pustules caused by mild to moderate rosacea.

What are the side effects of azelaic acid gel-topical?

  • Common side effects include:
  • Burning
  • Stinging
  • Tingling

Other side effects include:

Other less common side effects include:

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What is the dosage for azelaic acid gel-topical?

A thin layer of azelaic acid should be applied and massaged into the affected areas of the face every 12 hours.

Which drugs or supplements interact with azelaic acid gel-topical?

There are no drug interactions listed for this azelaic acid.

Is azelaic acid gel-topical safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • The safety azelaic acid has not been evaluated. It is not known whether azelaic acid is excreted in human milk. However, laboratory experiments suggest that the small amount of azelaic acid that is absorbed into the body may be excreted in human milk at very low concentrations that may not be significant.

What else should I know about azelaic acid gel-topical?

What preparations of azelaic acid gel-topical are available?

Gel, Foam, Kit: 15%. Cream: 20%

How should I keep azelaic acid gel-topical stored?

Store azelaic acid between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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Reviewed on 9/2/2016
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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