erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide (gel or pak), Benzamycin

  • 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.

Get Rid of Adult Acne

GENERIC NAME: erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide (gel or pak)

BRAND NAME: Benzamycin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Benzamycin is a combination of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide and is used for the topical treatment of acne (pimples). Erythromycin is an antibiotic. The exact mechanism by which topical erythromycin reduces pimples is unknown. Erythromycin probably reduces pimples by penetrating into the skin and killing bacteria that contribute to the formation of pimples. 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. Combining erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide is more convenient than using them separately. The FDA approved Benzamycin in November 2000.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Benzamycin is used for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris (pimples).

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects are:

  • skin irritation,
  • redness,
  • peeling,
  • dryness, and
  • itching.

Most of these side effects lessen with continued use. If they are bothersome, decreasing the frequency of application could be helpful. Skin discoloration and tenderness also may occur. Benzamycin may increase sensitivity to the sun leading to sunburn. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided, and sunscreen should be used over treated areas if sun exposure cannot be avoided. Benzamycin should not be applied to sunburned skin, cuts, eyes, nose or lips. Benzamycin may bleach hair or colored fabric.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2015

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