Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide (Topical application)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 20, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Epiduo Forte
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiacne
Chemical Class: Retinoid
Uses for adapalene and benzoyl peroxide
Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide combination is used to treat acne. It works by killing the bacteria that cause acne and by keeping the skin pores clean (tiny openings on the skin).
Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using adapalene and benzoyl peroxide
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to adapalene and benzoyl peroxide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Epiduo® in children younger than 9 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Epiduo® Forte in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide combination in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Eczema (skin disorder) or
- Sunburn—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
Proper use of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide
It is very important that you use adapalene and benzoyl peroxide only as directed. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause your skin to become irritated. You may need to use adapalene and benzoyl peroxide for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better. Applying extra medicine will not make it work faster.
Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using adapalene and benzoyl peroxide.
- Before applying adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, wash the affected area of your skin with water and a mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry.
- Apply a small amount of the medicine to each affected area of the skin (eg, forehead, chin, cheeks, chest, shoulders, back), and gently rub it in.
The dose of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (gel):
- For acne:
- Adults and children 9 years of age and older—Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) of the skin once a day.
- Children younger than 9 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- Epiduo® Forte:
- Adults and children 12 years of age and older—Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) of the skin once a day.
- Children younger than 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For acne:
If you miss a dose of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using adapalene and benzoyl peroxide
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it.
Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, wind, and cold weather. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. You may need to wear protective clothing, such as a hat.
Skin reactions such as dryness, redness, scaling, burning, or stinging can occur when you use adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. Use a moisturizer as needed to lessen these skin problems.
Do not use any other medicines on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Avoid using any skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin. These include rough skin cleansers, hair removal products, soaps or cosmetics that cause dryness, or products that contain alcohol, astringents, spices, or lime.
Do not use "waxing" as a hair removal method on skin areas treated with adapalene and benzoyl peroxide.
Allow adapalene and benzoyl peroxide to dry completely before getting dressed. Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide may cause bleaching of clothes or hair. I
Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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:
- Dryness and peeling of the skin
- flushing or redness of the skin
- unusually warm skin
- 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
Some side effects 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
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about adapalene / benzoyl peroxide topical
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Reviews (901)
- Pricing & coupons
- En español
- Drug class: topical acne agents
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.