clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel

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.

What brand names are available for clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel?

Benzaclin, Acanya, Duac, Onexton

Do I need a prescription for clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel?


What are the side effects of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel?

The most common side effect of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide are:

Allergic reactions may also occur. Diarrhea, sometimes bloody, has been reported with topical clindamycin. This reaction, although quite rare, can be dangerous. Discontinuation is recommended if marked diarrhea develops.


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What is the dosage for clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel?

Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide should be applied to acne lesions at bedtime (Duac), once daily (Acanya), twice daily, morning and evening (Benzaclin), or as directed by a physician. Affected areas should be washed, rinsed with warm water, and patted dry before applying clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide.

Which drugs or supplements interact with clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel?

There are no known drug interactions with clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide.

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 else should I know about clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel?

What preparations of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel are available?

Gel (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide): 1%/ 5% or 1.2%/2.5%, 3.75%

How should I keep clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel stored?

The gel can be stored at room temperature, up to 25 C (77 F), for up to three months after it is dispensed by the pharmacy. Unused gel should be discarded after three months.


Clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel (Benzaclin, Acanya, Duac) is a topical medication prescribed for the treatment of acne. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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