Azelaic acid topical Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to azelaic acid topical: topical cream, topical foam, topical gel/jelly
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by azelaic acid topical. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking azelaic acid topical:More common:
- Burning, stinging, or tingling of the skin
- dryness, itching, peeling, or redness of the skin
- Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
- scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
- Fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- swelling of the eyes
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing or swallowing
Minor Side Effects
Some of the side effects that can occur with azelaic acid topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:Rare
- Change in skin color at treated areas
- Blurred vision
- eye pain
- eye redness
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to azelaic acid topical: compounding powder, topical cream, topical foam, topical gel, topical kit
Local irritation occurs during the first few weeks of treatment and generally presents as pruritus, scaling, burning and tingling.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects have included worsening of asthma in rare instances.[Ref]
Dermatological side effects have included pruritus, burning, stinging, and tingling in 1% to 5% of patients using the 20% cream and up to 20% of patients using the 15% gel. Other side effects have included erythema, dryness, rash, peeling, irritation, dermatitis, edema, xerosis, photosensitivity, and contact dermatitis. There have been rare reports of vitiligo depigmentation, small depigmented spots, hypertrichosis, reddening and exacerbation of recurrent herpes labialis in some patients.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Finacea (azelaic acid topical)." Berlex Laboratories, Richmond, CA.
2. Fitton A, Goa KL "Azelaic acid. A review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy in acne and hyperpigmentary skin disorders." Drugs 41 (1991): 780-98
3. Maddin S "A comparison of topical azelaic acid 20% cream and topical metronidazole 0.75% cream in the treatment of patients with papulopustular rosacea." J Am Acad Dermatol 40 (1999): 961-5
4. Gupta AK, Gover MD "Azelaic acid (15% gel) in the treatment of acne rosacea." Int J Dermatol 46 (2007): 533-8
5. "Product Information. Azelex (azelaic acid)." Allergan Inc, Irvine, CA.
6. Thiboutot D, Thieroff-Ekerdt R, Graupe K "Efficacy and safety of azelaic acid (15%) gel as a new treatment for papulopustular rosacea: Results from two vehicle-controlled, randomized phase III studies." J Am Acad Dermatol 48 (2003): 836-45
Not all side effects for azelaic acid topical may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
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