Adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical Side Effects

Not all side effects for adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical: topical application gel/jelly

Along with its needed effects, adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical:

More common
  • Dryness and peeling of the skin
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • unusually warm skin
Less common
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, or flaking of the skin
  • burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at the application site
  • scaling, severe redness, or swelling of the skin
Incidence not known
  • Skin pain
  • sunburn

Some side effects of adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Incidence not known
  • Burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • change in the color of the treated skin
  • discharge or excessive tearing
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
  • swelling of the face

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical: topical gel


Dermatologic reactions during a clinical study included erythema, scaling, dryness and stinging/burning. These reactions occurred in 27% to 41% of study participants and were mostly mild to moderate, with only 1% to 3% experiencing severe reactions. Analysis of study data during a 12-week period showed that side effects such as erythema, scaling, dryness, and stinging/burning peaked during the first week of therapy and decreased thereafter.

Dermatologic side effects have included dry skin (7%), contact dermatitis (3%), application site burning (2%), application site irritation (1%), and skin irritation (1%).


General side effects reported postmarketing have included eyelid edema, sunburn, blister, pain of skin, pruritus, swelling face, conjunctivitis, skin discoloration, rash, eczema, and allergic contact dermatitis.

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