Skip to Content

Benzagel Wash FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about Benzagel Wash or relate to a group or class of drugs which include Benzagel Wash (benzoyl peroxide).

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for benzoyl peroxide

Over-The-Counter Topical Acne Products: Drug Safety Communication - Rare But Serious Hypersensitivity Reactions

Jun 25, 2014

Audience: Consumer, Pharmacy, Family Practice

Sold under various brand names such as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, and as store brands.

[Posted 06/25/2014]

ISSUE: FDA is warning that certain over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne products can cause rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation. Consumers should stop using their topical acne product and seek emergency medical attention immediately if they experience hypersensitivity reactions such as throat tightness; difficulty breathing; feeling faint; or swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue. Consumers should also stop using the product if they develop hives or itching. The hypersensitivity reactions may occur within minutes to a day or longer after product use.  

These serious hypersensitivity reactions differ from the local skin irritation that may occur at the product application site, such as redness, burning, dryness, itching, peeling, or slight swelling, that are already included in the Drug Facts labels.

The hypersensitivity reactions may occur within minutes to a day or longer after product use.  The OTC topical acne products of concern are marketed under various brand names such as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, and as store brands.  They are available as gels, lotions, face washes, solutions, cleansing pads, toners, face scrubs, and other products.   

BACKGROUND: Based on the information reported to FDA, it cannot be determined if the serious hypersensitivity reactions were triggered by the acne products’ active ingredients, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, the inactive ingredients, or by a combination of both. FDA is continuing to monitor and evaluate this safety issue, and will work with manufacturers regarding any future label changes that would address the risk of severe hypersensitivity reactions.

RECOMMENDATION: Before using an OTC topical acne drug product for the first time, apply a small amount to one or two small affected areas for 3 days to make sure you don’t develop any hypersensitivity symptoms. If no discomfort occurs, follow the directions on the Drug Facts label.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[06/25/2014 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]
[06/25/2014 - Consumer Update - FDA]

Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cream 10% marked as: DG Maximum Strength Acne Medicated Gel; Kroger Acne Gel 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Medication; Equate: Medicated Acne Gel

Nov 17, 2008

Audience: Consumers, dermatologists, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals

[Posted 11/17/2008] CSI USA Inc. and FDA informed consumers and healthcare professionals of a nationwide recall of all lots of 1 ounce tubes of 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cream. The products were recalled because samples of the products were found to contain bacteria, Burkholderia Cepacia, formerly known as Pseudomonas Cepacia. There may be an increased health risk of infections for individuals with cuts, scrapes, rashes or other compromised skin conditions; or those with weakened or suppressed immune systems. Consumers should discontinue using the product and should return it to the place of purchase. See the company's press release for photos of product packaging.

[November 13, 2008 - Press Release - CSI USA Inc.]

More Benzagel Wash Resources