Generic Name: adapalene and benzoyl peroxide (topical) (a DAP a leen and BEN zoyl per OX ide)
Brand Names: Epiduo

What is Epiduo?

Epiduo gel contains a combination of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. Adapalene is a medication similar to vitamin A. It helps the skin renew itself. Benzoyl peroxide has an antibacterial effect. It also has a mild drying effect, which allows excess oils and dirt to be easily washed away from the skin.

Epiduo gel is used to treat acne vulgaris (severe acne) in people who are at least 9 years old.

Epiduo may also be used for other purposes not listed.

Important information

Before using Epiduo gel, tell your doctor about all other medicated skin products you are using. Using more than one acne medication at a time could cause severe skin irritation.

Avoid getting Epiduo gel in your mouth, nose, or eyes, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, rinse with water. Do not use Epiduo gel on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Also avoid using Epiduo gel on wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication.

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Avoid using skin products that can cause dryness or irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.

Do not use other medicated skin products unless your doctor has told you to.

Before using Epiduo

You should not use Epiduo gel if you are allergic to adapalene (Differin) or benzoyl peroxide.

Before using Epiduo gel, tell your doctor about all other medicated skin products you are using. Using more than one acne medication at a time could cause severe skin irritation.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before using Epiduo, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether adapalene and benzoyl peroxide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Epiduo without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I use Epiduo?

Use Epiduo gel exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects. Do not use this medication for longer than your doctor has prescribed.

Wash your hands before and after applying Epiduo gel.

Epiduo gel is usually applied one time per day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Clean and pat dry the skin to be treated. Use a pea-sized amount of the gel for each treatment area (chin, forehead, and each cheek). Apply the medicine in a thin layer and rub in gently.

Do not apply any other skin products unless your doctor has told you to.

Store Epiduo gel at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of Epiduo applied to the skin is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid?

Avoid getting Epiduo gel in your mouth, nose, or eyes, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, rinse with water. Do not use Epiduo gel on sunburned, irritated, or broken skin. Also avoid using Epiduo gel on wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication.

Avoid using skin products that contain salicylic acid, sulfur, or resorcinol while you are using Epiduo.

Avoid using skin products that can cause dryness or irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.

Avoid exposure to sunlight, sunlamps, or tanning beds. Epiduo can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, and a sunburn may result. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Epiduo side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Epiduo: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

During your first 4 weeks of using Epiduo gel, your skin may be dry, red, or scaly. You may also feel some burning or stinging. Call your doctor if these side effects are severe.

Less serious side effects may include mild itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Epiduo?

Do not use other medicated skin products unless your doctor has told you to.

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied Epiduo gel. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about Epiduo (adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical)

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Epiduo gel.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 09/10/2009 4:10:57 PM.

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