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Duac Side Effects

Generic Name: benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Duac.

In Summary

Common side effects of Duac include: xeroderma. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical: gel

Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild burning, dryness, itching, peeling, redness, or stinging of the skin.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue); bloody or watery stools; severe burning, dryness, itching, peeling, redness, stinging, or swelling of the skin; severe or persistent diarrhea; stomach cramps or pain.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical: topical gel, topical kit


Dermatologic side effects have included dry skin (12%), pruritus (2%), peeling (2%), erythema (1%), and sunburn (1%) and reactions at the application site (3%).[Ref]

Application site reactions including burning, stinging, and pruritus are frequently reported following topical application of the combination of 5% benzoyl peroxide and 1% clindamycin.[Ref]


Pseudomembranous colitis may be revealed upon endoscopic examination; stool cultures for Clostridium difficile, and stool assays for Clostridium difficile toxin may be helpful diagnostically.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal side effects have been reported with the use of topical clindamycin. Diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and colitis, including pseudomembranous colitis, have occurred. Colitis usually manifests as severe persistent diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, and passage of blood and mucous. Some cases of colitis have been fatal. Due to the possible serious nature of pseudomembranous colitis, patients should be advised to discontinue clindamycin therapy and consult a physician if diarrhea occurs.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have included anaphylaxis and allergic reactions leading to hospitalization during postmarketing experience.


A 14-year-old boy developed reproducible ringing in his right ear and hearing loss while using topical clindamycin and after discontinuing use. He underwent a complete physical exam and labs which failed to find a cause for his symptoms. The patient was restarted on benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical and the ringing in his ear increased. He was told to stop all medications and was started on methylprednisolone. The tinnitus decreased in 1 to 2 days with no improvement in the hearing deficit. After the third time he was restarted on benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin gel, the tinnitus returned at an increased level together with right-sided headaches within 1 to 2 days. The patient again stopped using the benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin gel and the tinnitus returned to a low level over 1 to 2 days. It is believed that the clindamycin component played a part in this patient's tinnitus and hearing loss.[Ref]

Other side effects have included one case of ringing in the ear and partial hearing loss believed to be caused by clindamycin.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. BenzaClin Topical Gel (benzoyl peroxide-clindamycin topical)" Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Swiftwater, PA.

2. Breneman D, Savin R, VandePol C, Vamvakias G, Levy S, Leyden J "Double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled clinical trial of once-daily benzoyl peroxide / clindamycin topical gel in the treatment of patients with moderate to severe rosacea." Int J Dermatol 43 (2004): 381-7

3. Scissors B, Shwayder T "Topical clindamycin reproducibly causing tinnitus in a 14-year-old boy." J Am Acad Dermatol 54(5 Suppl) (2006): S243-4

Not all side effects for Duac may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.