Benzoyl peroxide / hydrocortisone topical Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to benzoyl peroxide/hydrocortisone topical: external lotion
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad skin irritation.
- Skin changes (pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).
- Change in color of skin.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Dry skin.
- Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For Healthcare Professionals
Local side effects are the most common with benzoyl peroxide and have included excessive drying and contact dermatitis.
Local adverse effects of hydrocortisone may include burning, itching, or irritation, dryness, folliculitis, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, skin atrophy, striae, and miliaria especially if applied to denuded skin or with occlusive dressings.[Ref]
Skin on the face, axillae, and groin appear to be most susceptible to the adverse, long-term effects of topical steroids.
Topical corticosteroid use may inhibit local immune response rendering the skin more susceptible to infections. Folliculitis has occasionally been reported.
Perioral dermatitis or rosacea-like dermatitis has occurred in patients treated with potent topical corticosteroids who are of seborrheic skin type. This condition may flare temporarily upon discontinuation of topical steroids, prompting patients to continue their use. If topical corticosteroids are discontinued, this flare and the initial dermatitis generally resolves over a few weeks.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity reactions have included allergic sensitization in 1% to 5% of patients treated with benzoyl peroxide.[Ref]
Endocrine side effects of topical corticosteroids are rare. Glucose intolerance and hyperglycemia may be induced by corticosteroids. These drugs can rarely suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This suppression is more likely when higher potency topical steroids are used over extensive areas and when occlusive dressings are used.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Vanoxide-HC Acne Lotion (benzoyl peroxide-hydrocortisone topical)" Dermik Laboratories, Collegeville, PA.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.