Medically reviewed on September 11, 2017.
What is benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical?
Benzoyl peroxide has an antibacterial effect. It also has a mild drying effect that allows excess oil and dirt to be washed away.
Benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical (for the skin) is a combination medicine used to treat acne.
Benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
This medicine 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.
Before taking this medicine
Although this medicine is applied to the skin, your body may absorb enough clindamycin to cause serious side effects. You may not be able to use this medicine if you have:
inflammation of your intestines (also called enteritis);
if you have ever had severe diarrhea caused by antibiotic medicine.
It is not known whether benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical 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 benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I use benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects.
Benzoyl peroxide can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Before you start using this medicine, 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.
Wash your face with a mild cleanser (not soap) and pat the skin dry with a clean towel.
Benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical is usually applied twice daily, in the morning and evening.
Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, mouth, or nose (or in the creases of your nose), or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not apply this medicine to sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin.
It may take several weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
If you receive more than one supply of Acanya or Duac gel, store the unopened container in a refrigerator until you are ready to start using it. Do not freeze.
Once in use, store the gel at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label has passed. Duac has an expiration date of 60 days. Acanya has an expiration date of 10 weeks. BenzaClin has an expiration date of 3 months.
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 scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms include bloody or watery diarrhea, which may result if you absorb this medicine through your skin by applying too much.
What should I avoid while taking benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical?
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical unless your doctor tells you to.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop using benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. This medication can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Avoid using sunscreen containing PABA on the same skin treated with benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical, or skin discoloration may occur.
Benzoyl peroxide can bleach hair or fabrics. Do not let this medicine come into contact with clothing, hair, or colored towels or bed linens.
Benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical side effects
Benzoyl peroxide can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. These reactions may occur just a few minutes after you apply the medicine, or within a day or longer afterward.
Stop using this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe redness, burning, stinging, or peeling of treated skin areas; or
diarrhea that is watery or bloody.
Common side effects may include:
mild burning or stinging;
itching or tingly feeling;
dryness or peeling of treated skin; or
redness or other irritation.
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 benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. 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 this medication 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: 9.04.
More about Acanya (benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical)
- Acanya Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 57 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: topical acne agents