- Adult Acne Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Acne (Pimples) Quiz!
- Helping Your Teen With Acne Slideshow Pictures
- What is erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
- Is erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
- What are the side effects of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
- What is the dosage for erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
- Is erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
What is erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
The most common side effects are:
- skin irritation,
- dryness, and
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.
What is the dosage for erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
The affected areas are washed and dried, and a thin layer of gel is applied twice daily (morning and evening) or as directed by a physician. The eyes, lips and nose should be avoided. Results should be seen within 4 to 6 weeks. This product is for external use only.
Which drugs or supplements interact with erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
Excessive skin irritation may occur if Benzamycin is used with other acne medications.
Is erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Safety of Benzamycin when used during pregnancy has not been established; however, the risk of side effects on the fetus is low because very little drug is absorbed through the skin.
The possibility that infants will experience adverse effects due to the use of Benzamycin by a woman who is breastfeeding is very low since little drug is absorbed through the skin.
What else should I know about erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide?
What preparations of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide are available?
Benzamycin is dispensed in amounts of 46.6 gm containing 1.6 grams of erythromycin powder and 40 grams of benzoyl peroxide gel. The erythromycin powder is mixed with 6 ml of ethyl alcohol and then added to the benzoyl peroxide gel before it is dispensed to the patient. Benzamycin also is available as Benzamycin Pak, 60 individual-use packets containing both erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide as gels in separate compartment within the packet. Just prior to use, the packet is opened, and the gels are mixed.
How should I keep erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide stored?
Prior to mixing the erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide together, Benzamycin should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F). After mixing, Benzamycin should be stored in the refrigerator between 2 C - 8 C (36 F – 46 F) and discarded after 3 months.
Quick GuideAdult Acne (Pimples) Causes and Treatments
erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide gel or pak (Benzamycin) is a topical medication prescribed for the treatment of acne. Side effects, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Rosacea Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Think acne and rosacea are the same? Think again. Take the Rosacea Quiz to learn all about this inflammatory skin condition....
Acne (Pimples) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Acne is the most common skin disorder in the world. If you suffer from acne, you are not alone and many treatment options are...
Related Disease Conditions
Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This...
Clostridium Difficile Colitis (Antibiotic-Associated Colitis, C. difficile colitis)
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium, and is one of the most common causes of infection of the colon. C. difficile...
Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness of the forehead, chin, and lower half of the nose. In addition to inflammation of...
Heart Attack Prevention
Heart disease and heart attacks can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, and stress management....
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection is the most common type of infection acquired by patients while hospitalized....
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Acne FAQs
- Rosacea FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Antibiotics 101
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Acne Care Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.