Medically reviewed on September 11, 2017
What is Azelex?
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.
Azelex (for the skin) is used to treat acne and rosacea.
Azelex may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azelaic acid or propylene glycol.
Azelex 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 Azelex?
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.
Azelex 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 Azelex?
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 Azelex 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 Azelex.
Azelex 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 Azelex 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)
What other drugs will affect Azelex?
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.
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: 4.05.
More about Azelex (azelaic acid topical)
- Azelex Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 6 Reviews
- Drug class: topical acne agents
Other brands: Finacea