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Epiduo Gel

Generic name: adapalene and benzoyl peroxide (topical) [ a-DAP-a-leen-and-BEN-zoyl-per-OX-ide ]
Brand names: Epiduo, Epiduo Forte, Epiduo Pump
Drug class: Topical acne agents

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Jul 6, 2022.

What is Epiduo?

Epiduo gel contains a combination of adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. Adapalene is 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.

Warnings

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.

Benzoyl peroxide can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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.

Before taking this medicine

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

To make sure Epiduo is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • other skin problems, including cuts, abrasions, sunburn, or eczema.

It is not known whether Epiduo will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether adapalene or benzoyl peroxide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you breastfeed, avoid applying this medicine to your nipple area.

Epiduo gel should not be used on a child younger than 9 years old.

How should I use Epiduo?

Use Epiduo gel exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Epiduo is usually applied once a day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Wash your hands before and after applying Epiduo gel.

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 Epiduo gel in a thin layer and rub in gently and allow it to dry completely before dressing.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using this medicine.

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

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

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Acne:

Usual dose: Apply a thin layer to the affected area once a day

Comments:
-The affected area should be thoroughly washed and dried before application.
-A pea-sized amount should be used for each area of the face (e.g., forehead, chin, each cheek).

Use: Topical treatment of acne vulgaris

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acne:

Adapalene 0.1%/Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Gel
9 years and older:
-Usual dose: Apply a thin layer to the affected area once a day

Comments:
-The affected area should be thoroughly washed and dried before application.
-A pea-sized amount should be used for each area of the face (e.g., forehead, chin, each cheek).

Adapalene 0.3%/Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Gel
12 years and older:
-Usual dose: Apply a thin layer to the affected area once a day

Comments:
-The affected area should be thoroughly washed and dried before application.
-A pea-sized amount should be used for each area of the face (e.g., forehead, chin, each cheek).

Use: Topical treatment of acne vulgaris

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.

What should I avoid while using Epiduo?

Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, mouth, or vagina. This medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. Also avoid using Epiduo on wounds or on areas of eczema.

Epiduo could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

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

Epiduo side effects

Benzoyl peroxide can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Epiduo may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe redness or swelling of treated skin;

  • severe burning or stinging; or

  • severe dryness or other skin irritation.

Common Epiduo side effects may include:

  • dry or scaly skin;

  • skin redness; or

  • burning or stinging.

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.

What other drugs will affect Epiduo?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use, but many drugs can interact. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Epiduo only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.