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Epiduo Side Effects

Generic Name: adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Epiduo.

In Summary

Common side effects of Epiduo include: burning sensation of skin, stinging of the skin, desquamation, erythema, and xeroderma. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

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

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when 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

Severity: Minor

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

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.[Ref]

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


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.


1. "Product Information. Epiduo (adapalene-benzoyl peroxide topical)." Galderma Laboratories Inc, Cranbury, NJ.

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

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