Benzoyl peroxide wash

Generic Name: benzoyl peroxide (BEN-zoyl per-OX-ide)
Brand Name: Examples include Benzac AC and EthexDERM BPW

Benzoyl peroxide wash is used for:

Treating acne.

Benzoyl peroxide wash is a keratolytic agent with antibacterial actions. The effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide appears to be due to its antibacterial, peeling (keratolytic), and drying actions.

Do NOT use benzoyl peroxide wash if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in benzoyl peroxide wash

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

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Before using benzoyl peroxide wash:

Some medical conditions may interact with benzoyl peroxide wash. 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

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with benzoyl peroxide wash. However, no specific interactions with benzoyl peroxide wash are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if benzoyl peroxide wash 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 wash:

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

  • Wet the affected area. Use your hands to apply the medicine and gently wash the affected area. Rinse with water and pat dry.
  • Wash your hands after using benzoyl peroxide wash.
  • If you miss a dose of benzoyl peroxide wash, 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 wash.

Important safety information:

  • Use on the skin only. Avoid getting benzoyl peroxide wash in your eyes, eyelids, on the inside of your nose or mouth, on highly inflamed or damaged skin, or on your lips. If you get benzoyl peroxide wash in your eyes, immediately wash them out with cool tap water.
  • Avoid applying benzoyl peroxide wash to raw or irritated skin, including sunburns, or to open wounds.
  • Several weeks may pass before you see improvement in your acne. Continue to use benzoyl peroxide wash for the full time recommended by your doctor. If your acne does not improve or if it gets worse, check with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines, special cleansers, aftershave, or cosmetics on your skin.
  • Benzoyl peroxide wash may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to benzoyl peroxide wash. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Benzoyl peroxide wash may cause bleaching. Avoid contact with hair, fabrics, or carpeting.
  • Benzoyl peroxide wash should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if benzoyl peroxide wash can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using benzoyl peroxide wash while you are pregnant. It is not known if benzoyl peroxide wash is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use benzoyl peroxide wash, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of benzoyl peroxide wash:

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; irritation; itching; peeling; redness; stinging.

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, irritation, peeling, redness, or tenderness of your skin; extreme dryness; swelling.

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; swelling.

Proper storage of benzoyl peroxide wash:

Store at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container, away from fire, flame, heat, moisture, and light. Keep benzoyl peroxide wash out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about benzoyl peroxide wash, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Benzoyl peroxide wash 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 wash 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 wash. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to benzoyl peroxide wash. 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 wash.

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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