azelaic acid topical
Generic Name: azelaic acid topical (ay ze LAY ik AS id)
Brand Name: Azelex, Finacea, Finacea Plus, Finevin
What is azelaic acid topical?
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid. It helps the skin to renew itself more quickly and therefore reduces pimple and blackhead formation. It also helps to kill the bacteria that cause acne and rosacea.
Azelaic acid topical (for the skin) is used to treat acne and rosacea.
Azelaic acid topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about azelaic acid topical?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using azelaic acid topical?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azelaic acid or propylene glycol.
Azelaic acid topical is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether azelaic acid topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use azelaic acid topical?
Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Wash your hands before and after applying this medication.
Clean the affected area with a mild soap or a soap-free cleansing lotion and pat dry with a soft towel. Apply the medication as directed.
Azelaic acid topical is usually applied twice daily, in the morning and at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Do not cover the affected area after applying azelaic acid. Doing so could cause too much medicine to be absorbed by the body and could be harmful.
It may take up 4 weeks or longer before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 12 weeks of treatment.
If you have excessive burning, dryness, or irritation, ask your doctor about using azelaic acid once daily.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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 may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.
What should I avoid while using azelaic acid topical?
Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. If this does happen, rinse with water. Do not use on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with azelaic acid topical unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps or skin cleansers, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.
Your doctor may recommend avoiding spicy foods, hot foods or drinks, alcoholic beverages and other foods or beverages that may cause flushing or redness of the skin during treatment with azelaic acid topical.
Azelaic acid topical side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe burning, stinging, or warmth;
severe itching or tingling;
severe redness, dryness, peeling, or other irritation; or
changes in skin color.
Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all.
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)
Azelaic acid topical dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Acne:
Apply 20% cream to affected area twice a day, morning and evening. The skin should be gently washed, rinsed with warm water, and patted dry before application.
Usual Adult Dose for Acne Rosacea:
Apply 15% gel to affected area twice a day, morning and evening. The skin should be gently washed, rinsed with warm water, and patted dry before application. The gel has been used for up to 12 weeks in clinical trials. Foods or beverages that may cause flushing, blushing, or erythema should be avoided.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Acne:
Greater than or equal to 12 years: Apply to affected area twice a day, morning and evening. The skin should be gently washed, rinsed with warm water, and patted dry before application.
What other drugs will affect azelaic acid topical?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied azelaic acid. 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.
More about azelaic acid topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 70 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: topical acne agents
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about azelaic acid topical.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.05.
Last reviewed: September 11, 2015
Date modified: May 03, 2017