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Generic Name: benzoyl peroxide topical

It is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne.
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What is this medicine?

BENZOYL PEROXIDE (BEN zoe ill per OX ide) is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • asthma
  • skin disease, abrasions, irritation or infection
  • sunburn
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to benzoic acid, cinnamon, parabens, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Before using, wash affected area with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. Use the medicated pad to apply the medicine to the affected area. Do not apply to raw or irritated skin. Avoid getting medicine in your eyes, lips, nose, mouth, or other sensitive areas. Do not wash treated areas of skin for at least 1 hour after using the medicine. If you experience very dry and peeling skin or skin irritation, talk to your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • adapalene
  • isotretinoin
  • salicylic acid or sulfur containing products
  • topical antibiotics such as clindamycin or erythromycin
  • tretinoin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your acne may get worse during the first few weeks of treatment, and then start to get better. It may take 8 to 12 weeks before you see the full effect. If you do not see any improvement within 4 to 6 weeks, call your doctor or health care professional.

Once you see a decrease in your acne, you may need to continue to use this medicine to control it.

Do not use products that may dry the skin like medicated cosmetics, products that contain alcohol, or abrasive soaps or cleaners. Do not use other acne or skin treatment on the same area that you use this medicine unless your doctor or health care professional tells you to. If you use these together they can cause severe skin irritation.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

This medicine may bleach hair or colored fabrics. Avoid getting the medicine on your clothes.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • severe burning, itching, reddening, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • increased sensitivity to the sun
  • mild burning or stinging of the skin
  • red, inflamed, and irritated skin

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 25 degrees C (59 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.

All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
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