Benzoyl peroxide/ erythromycin gel

Generic Name: benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin (BEN-zoyl per-OX-ide/eh-RITH-row-MY-sin)
Brand Name: Examples include Benzamycin and Benzamycin Pak

Benzoyl peroxide/ erythromycin gel is used for:

Treating severe acne. It may be used with other acne medications.

Benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel is a combination macrolide antibiotic and keratolytic (drying) agent with antibacterial actions. The effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide appears to be due to its antibacterial, peeling (keratolytic), and drying actions. How topical erythromycin treats acne is not fully known. It is thought that the improvement in acne is due to the ability of topically applied erythromycin to slow the growth on the skin of bacteria that cause the acne.

Do NOT use benzoyl peroxide/ erythromycin gel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using benzoyl peroxide/ erythromycin gel:

Some medical conditions may interact with benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems or a blood disorder

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel. Because little, if any, of benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use benzoyl peroxide/ erythromycin gel:

Use benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Before using benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel, thoroughly wash, rinse with warm water, and gently dry your skin.
  • Apply and rub in a thin film of medicine to the affected skin and surrounding areas using the fingertips or applicator provided.
  • Wash your hands after using benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel.
  • Benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel works best if used at the same time(s) each day.
  • If you miss a dose of benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel.

Important safety information:

  • Use on the skin only. Avoid getting benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel in your eyes, on the inside of your nose or mouth, on highly inflamed or damaged skin, or on your lips. If you get benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel in your eyes, immediately wash them out with cool tap water.
  • Avoid applying benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel to raw or irritated skin, including sunburns and open wounds.
  • If applying another medicine for acne, wait at least 1 hour before applying the second medicine.
  • Once you begin using benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel, it may take 3 to 8 weeks before you begin to see improvement. If your symptoms do not improve by 12 weeks or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • While you are using benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel, use only water-based cosmetics.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines or special cleansers on your skin.
  • Benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel may cause bleaching. Avoid contact with hair, fabrics, or carpeting.
  • Benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel while you are pregnant. It is not known if benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of benzoyl peroxide/ erythromycin gel:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dryness; feeling of warmth; hives; irritation; itching; peeling; redness; stinging; swelling of the skin.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; dizziness; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); excessive burning, itching, redness, or tenderness of the skin; extreme dryness; severe irritation; sloughing of the skin; swelling of the treated areas.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include excessive scaling, flushing, redness, and swelling of the skin.

Proper storage of benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel:

Storage of Pak: Store benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel at room temperature at 68 to 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container after it has been mixed. Do not freeze. Discard unused medicine after 3 months. Keep benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

Storage of Jar: Store benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel in the refrigerator at 36 to 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container after it has been mixed. Do not freeze. Discard unused medicine after 3 months. Keep benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin gel.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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