Generic Name: adapalene and benzoyl peroxide (topical) (a DAP a leen and BEN zoyl per OX ide)
Brand Names: Epiduo
Medically reviewed: September 11, 2017
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.
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 if you are allergic to adapalene (Differin) or benzoyl peroxide.
To make sure Epiduo is safe for you, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions.
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 and benzoyl peroxide topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Epiduo 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. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Using more of this medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects.
Benzoyl peroxide topical can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Before you start using Epiduo gel, you may choose to apply a "test dose" to see if you have a reaction. Apply a very small amount of the medicine to 1 or 2 small acne areas every day for 3 days in a row. If there is no reaction, begin using the full prescribed amount on the 4th day.
Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine.
Epiduo 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.
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 at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Epiduo dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Acne:
Epiduo gel should be applied to affected areas of the face and/or trunk once daily after washing. A pea-size amount is applied to each area of the face (e.g., forehead, chin, each cheek). Avoid the eyes, lips, and mucous membranes.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of Epiduo gel is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using Epiduo?
Do not take by mouth. 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 gel on wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication.
If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, mouth, or on your lips, rinse with water.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with Epiduo unless your doctor tells you to. Especially avoid using other skin products that contain salicylic acid, sulfur, or resorcinol.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Epiduo gel can make you sunburn more easily. 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 any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Epiduo: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
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 (especially during the first 4 weeks of use) may include:
dry or scaly skin;
skin redness; or
mild 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Epiduo?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Epiduo gel only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02.
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- Drug class: topical acne agents
Other brands: Epiduo Forte