Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiacne
Benzoyl peroxide is used to treat acne.
It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Some of these preparations are available only with your doctor's prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, benzoyl peroxide is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For benzoyl peroxide, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzoyl peroxide or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
For children up to 12 years of age: Studies on benzoyl peroxide have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of benzoyl peroxide with use in other age groups. For children 12 years of age and older: Although there is no specific information comparing use of benzoyl peroxide in children with use in other age groups, benzoyl peroxide is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children 12 years of age and older than it does in adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of benzoyl peroxide in the elderly with use in other age groups, benzoyl peroxide is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of benzoyl peroxide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
It is very important that you use benzoyl peroxide only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may cause irritation of the skin.
Do not use benzoyl peroxide in or around the eyes or lips, or inside the nose, or on sensitive areas of the neck. Spread the medicine away from these areas when applying. If the medicine gets on these areas, wash with water at once.
Do not apply benzoyl peroxide to windburned or sunburned skin or on open wounds, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
benzoyl peroxide usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using the medicine.
To use the cream, gel, lotion, or stick form of benzoyl peroxide:
To use the shave cream form of benzoyl peroxide:
To use the cleansing bar, cleansing lotion, or soap form of benzoyl peroxide:
To use the facial mask form of benzoyl peroxide:
After applying the medicine, wash your hands to remove any medicine that might remain on them.
The dose of benzoyl peroxide will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of benzoyl peroxide. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of benzoyl peroxide, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
During the first 3 weeks you are using benzoyl peroxide, your skin may become irritated. Also, your acne may seem to get worse before it gets better. If your skin problem has not improved within 4 to 6 weeks, check with your health care professional.
You should not wash the areas of the skin treated with benzoyl peroxide for at least 1 hour after application.
Avoid using any other topical medicine on the same area within 1 hour before or after using benzoyl peroxide. Otherwise, benzoyl peroxide may not work properly.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it is especially important to avoid using the following skin products on the same area as benzoyl peroxide:
Using these products along with benzoyl peroxide may cause mild to severe irritation of the skin. Although skin irritation can occur, some doctors sometimes allow benzoyl peroxide to be used with tretinoin to treat acne. Usually tretinoin is applied at night so that it doesn't cause a problem with any other topical products that you might use during the day. Check with your doctor before using any other topical medicines with benzoyl peroxide.
benzoyl peroxide may bleach hair or colored fabrics.
Check with your doctor at any time your skin becomes too dry or irritated. Your health care professional can help you choose the right skin products for you to reduce skin dryness and irritation.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:Less common or rare
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Less common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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