What Is Epiduo (Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide)?
Epiduo Gel is the brand name of a prescription drug that contains adapalene and benzoyl peroxide.
The medication is applied to the skin to treat acne.
Adapalene works to control acne by stopping the abnormal buildup of a skin protein (keratin) in pores. It's also an anti-inflammatory.
Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria that causes acne and breaks down excess keratin.
Epiduo Gel was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 and is manufactured by Galderma.
You should not use Epiduo if:
- You're allergic to Epiduo or any other ingredient in the drug
- You're sensitive to sunlight or have a sunburn
- You have eczema
- You're using other products that irritate or dry your skin
- Your skin is broken or burned where you are to apply the drug
Pregnancy and Epiduo
Epiduo is a FDA Pregnancy Category C drug, meaning it is known to cause birth defects in animals, but its effects in pregnancy haven't been studied adequately in humans.
Topical (applied to the skin) retinoids such as Epiduo are not known to cause the birth defects that oral retinoids do.
Nonetheless, some doctors are cautious and tell pregnant women not to use any skin creams or medications that contain retinoids.
You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using this medication.
Since Epiduo is found in breast milk, you shouldn't use it you're breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Epiduo Side Effects
Your skin may look worse for the first few weeks that you use Epiduo before you start to see any benefits. It's likely to make your skin peel and become dry and red. Your acne may worsen, too.
These are side effects, but they are normal, short-term responses to the drug.
However, notify your doctor if these side effects persist for more than four weeks. You may need a lower dose of the medication or it may be discontinued completely.
Common side effects of Epiduo include:
- Dryness and scaling
- Stinging or burning
- Sensitivity to sunlight
Your skin might also become irritated by contact with certain materials (contact dermatitis).
It's always important to tell your doctor and pharmacist all of the medications you're taking.
This includes prescriptions medications, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements (nutritional shakes, protein powders, etc.), herbal remedies, and any illegal or recreational drugs.
You should not use Epiduo if you are applying any of following drugs to your skin:
- Hydroquinone (found in bleaching creams, scar creams, and skin lighteners)
- tazorotene (Tazorac)
- tretinoin (Atralin, Avita, Retin-A, or Renova)
Many prescription and OTC anti-acne creams, gels, washes, or lotions contain at least one active ingredient that should not be used if you are applying Epiduo on the same area. Be sure to check the label of any skin product that you're using for the following:
- adapalene (in Differin gel)
- benzoyl peroxide (in PanOxyl, Oxy 10, and many other anti-acne products)
- sulfur topical (DDF Sulfur)
- methoxsalen (8-MOP, Oxsoralen, Uvadex)
Also, be careful removing hair from areas where you apply Epiduo to the skin. The skin in those areas may be more sensitive to waxing, threading, plucking, and cream hair removals.
Epiduo and Alcohol
Epiduo and alcohol can both dry out the skin, so drinking while using Epiduo could make dryness worse.
You should avoid or limit drinking alcohol while using this medication.
Apply a thin layer of the gel to clean, dry skin, taking care to avoid the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Because Epiduo Gel can irritate the skin and make it more sensitive to sunlight, apply a sunscreen after allowing time for the medication on your skin to dry completely.
If you suspect an overdose, you should contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.
You can get in touch with a poison control center at (800) 222-1222. Using too much Epiduo is unlikely to be life-threatening.
Missed Dose of Epiduo
If you miss an application of Epiduo, try to apply it as soon as you remember.
If it is almost time for the next application, skip the missed one and apply it next at the regular time. Do not use two applications of the medication at the same time.
Video: Lybrate | Directions to use EPIDUO
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