Does BenzaClin (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide) cause side effects?

BenzaClin (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide) is a combination of an antibiotic and another drug that has antibacterial effects used topically (applied to the skin) to treat 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 bacteria and promotes the growth of new skin cells. It also dries the skin. 

Increased cell growth leads to the replacement of the pimples with new skin. Combining clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide is more convenient than using them separately. 

Common side effects of BenzaClin include

Serious side effects of BenzaClin include allergic reactions and diarrhea (sometimes bloody).

There are no known drug interactions with BenzaClin.  

BenzaClin has not been tested in pregnant women. BenzaClin 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 BenzaClin.

What are the important side effects of BenzaClin (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide)?

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.

BenzaClin (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide) side effects list for healthcare professionals

During clinical trials, the most frequently reported adverse event in the BenzaClin (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide) treatment group was dry skin (12%). The Table below lists local adverse events reported by at least 1% of patients in the BenzaClin (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide) and vehicle groups.

Local Adverse Events - all causalities in > /= 1% of patients

n = 420
n = 168
Application site reaction 13 (3%) 1 ( < 1%)
Dry skin 50 (12%) 10 (6%)
Pruritus 8 (2%) 1 ( < 1%)
Peeling 9 (2%) -
Erythema 6 (1%) 1 ( < 1%)
Sunburn 5 (1%) -

The actual incidence of dry skin might have been greater were it not for the use of a moisturizer in these studies.

Anaphylaxis, as well as allergic reactions leading to hospitalization, have been reported during post-marketing use of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide products. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

What drugs interact with BenzaClin (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide)?

No information provided.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/6/2021
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Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.