benzoyl peroxide (Rx, OTC)

Brand and Other Names:Benzac AC Gel, Desquam-X, more...Benzac AC Wash, Benzac Acne Eliminating Cleanser, BenzEFoam, BPO Creamy Wash Complete Pack, BPO Foaming Cloth, BPO Gel, Clean and Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser, Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser, Clean and Clear Gel, Clearasil Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream, Lavoclen-4 Creamy Wash, Lavoclen-8 Creamy Wash, NeoBenz Micro, NeoBenz Micro SD, NeoBenz Micro Wash, Neutrogena Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion, Neutrogena Clear Pore Acne Treatment, Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, Neutrogena Clear Pore Daily Scrub, Pacnex MX, PanOxyl Acne Cleansing Bar, PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash, PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash, Proactiv, Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment, Proactiv Renewing Cleanser, Proactiv Repairing, Riax, Zapzyt Acne Treatment Gel
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Dosing & Uses

AdultPediatric

Dosage Forms & Strengths

topical gel

  • 2.5% (Proactive Repairing)
  • 4% (BPO Gel)
  • 5% (Benzac AC Gel, Clean and Clear Gel)
  • 8% (BPO Gel)
  • 10% (Benzac AC Gel, Zapzyt Acne Treatment Gel)

topical lotion

  • 2.5% (Proactive Repairing)
  • 3.5% (Neutrogena Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion)
  • 7% (Proactiv)

bar

  • 10% (PanOxyl Acne Cleansing Bar)

topical cream

  • 2.5% (Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, Proactiv)
  • 5.5% (NeoBenz Micro, NeoBenz Micro SD)
  • 6% (Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment)
  • 7% (Proactiv)
  • 10% (Clearasil Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream, Neutrogena Clear Pore Acne Treatment)

topical foam

  • 5.3% (BenzEFoam)
  • 5.5% (Riax)
  • 9.5% (Riax)

topical wash

  • 2.5% (Proactiv Renewing Cleanser)
  • 3% (BPO Foaming Cloth)
  • 3.7% (Neutrogena Clear Pore Daily Scrub)
  • 4% (PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash, Lavoclen-4 Cream Wash)
  • 4.25% (Pacnex MX)
  • 5% (Benzac AC Wash, Clean and Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser)
  • 6% (BPO Foaming Cloth)
  • 7% (NeoBenz Micro Wash)
  • 8% (Lavoclen-8 Creamy Wash)
  • 9% (BPO Foaming Cloth)
  • 10% (PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash, Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser)

topical gel cleanser

  • 2.6% (Benzac Acne Eliminating Cleanser)

Acne Vulgaris

Topical formulations: Apply sparingly to affected areas qDay after thoroughly washing skin; may gradually increase to BID/TID if needed

Topical cleansers: Wash qDay or BID; decrease frequency or product concentration if excessive dryness occurs

Dosage Forms & Strengths

topical gel

  • 2.5% (Proactive Repairing)
  • 4% (BPO Gel)
  • 5% (Benzac AC Gel, Clean and Clear Gel)
  • 8% (BPO Gel)
  • 10% (Benzac AC Gel, Zapzyt Acne Treatment Gel)

topical lotion

  • 2.5% (Proactive Repairing)
  • 3.5% (Neutrogena Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion)
  • 7% (Proactiv)

bar

  • 10% (PanOxyl Acne Cleansing Bar)

topical cream

  • 2.5% (Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, Proactiv)
  • 5.5% (NeoBenz Micro, NeoBenz Micro SD)
  • 6% (Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment)
  • 7% (Proactiv)
  • 10% (Clearasil Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream, Neutrogena Clear Pore Acne Treatment)

topical foam

  • 5.3% (BenzEFoam)

topical wash

  • 2.5% (Proactiv Renewing Cleanser)
  • 3% (BPO Foaming Cloth)
  • 3.7% (Neutrogena Clear Pore Daily Scrub)
  • 4% (PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash, Lavoclen-4 Cream Wash)
  • 4.25% (Pacnex MX)
  • 5% (Benzac AC Wash, Clean and Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser)
  • 6% (BPO Foaming Cloth)
  • 7% (NeoBenz Micro Wash)
  • 8% (Lavoclen-8 Creamy Wash)
  • 9% (BPO Foaming Cloth)
  • 10% (PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash, Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser)

topical gel cleanser

  • 2.6% (Benzac Acne Eliminating Cleanser)

Acne Vulgaris

Adolescents

Topical formulations: Apply sparingly to affected areas qDay after thoroughly washing skin; may gradually increase to BID/TID if needed

Topical cleansers: Wash qDay or BID; decrease frequency or product concentration if excessive dryness occurs

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Interactions

Interaction Checker

and benzoyl peroxide

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      Serious - Use Alternative

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            Contraindicated (0)

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                Monitor Closely (1)

                • dapsone topical

                  benzoyl peroxide, dapsone topical. unspecified interaction mechanism. Use Caution/Monitor. Coadministration may cause temporary local yellow or orange discoloration of the skin and facial hair.

                Minor (0)

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                  Adverse Effects

                  Frequency Not Defined

                  Contact dermatitis

                  Erythema

                  Peeling

                  Skin dryness

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                  Warnings

                  Contraindications

                  Hypersensitivity

                  Cautions

                  For external use only; avoid contact with the eyes, lips, mucous membranes, and mouth

                  Skin irritation may occur, characterized by redness, burning, itching, peeling, or possibly swelling; decrease frequency of use or use lower concentration product

                  Concomitant administration with sulfone products (sulfacetamide or dapsone) may result in temporary discoloration (orange/yellow) of facial hair and skin; may avoid by applying products different time and washing off benzoyl peroxide before applying other products

                  Stop use if irritation becomes severe

                  Some dosage forms contain benzyl alcohol, which when used in large amounts, may cause fatal gasping syndrome toxicity in neonates

                  Coadministration with other topical acne medications may increase skin irritation and dryness

                  Avoid excessive sun exposure and use sunscreen

                  Avoid contact with hair and dyed fabrics (eg, pillowcases, towels), which may be bleached by this product

                  Serious allergic reactions

                  • Rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation reported
                  • Instruct patients to stop using their topical acne product and seek emergency medical attention immediately if they experience hypersensitivity reactions (eg, throat tightness, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, or swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue)
                  • Also, instruct patients to stop using the product if they develop hives or itching
                  • These serious hypersensitivity reactions differ from the local skin irritation that may occur at the product application site (eg, redness, burning, dryness, itching, peeling, or slight swelling)
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                  Pregnancy & Lactation

                  Pregnancy Category: C

                  Lactation: excretion in milk unknown; use with caution

                  Pregnancy Categories

                  A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

                  B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

                  C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

                  D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

                  X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

                  NA: Information not available.

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                  Pharmacology

                  Mechanism of Action

                  Elicits action by releasing active oxygen; effective in vitro against Propionibacterium acnes, an anaerobe found in sebaceous follicles and comedones; also elicits a keratolytic and desquamative effect which may also contribute to its efficacy

                  Pharmacokinetics

                  Benzoyl peroxide absorbed by the skin where it is converted to benzoic acid

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                  Administration

                  Instructions

                  Before using a topical acne product for the first time, patients should apply a small amount to 1 or 2 small affected areas of the skin for 3 days, if no discomfort/allergy occurs, then the product can be used according to the directions

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                  Images

                  BRAND FORM. UNIT PRICE PILL IMAGE
                  Persa-Gel topical
                  -
                  10 % gel
                  Pacnex topical
                  -
                  7 % liquid
                  BPO topical
                  -
                  4 % gel
                  BPO topical
                  -
                  6 % miscellaneous
                  BPO topical
                  -
                  8 % gel
                  BP topical
                  -
                  10 % gel
                  BP topical
                  -
                  5 % gel
                  Pacnex LP topical
                  -
                  4.25 % pad
                  Pacnex HP topical
                  -
                  7 % pad
                  Panoxyl topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  Panoxyl topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  BP Wash topical
                  -
                  2.5 % liquid
                  BP Wash topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  BP Wash topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  BP Wash topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  BP Wash topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  OC8 topical
                  -
                  7 % gel
                  BenzePrO topical
                  -
                  9.8 % foam
                  Riax topical
                  -
                  9.5 % foam
                  Acne Medication topical
                  -
                  10 % gel
                  Acne Medication topical
                  -
                  5 % gel
                  Acne Medication topical
                  -
                  5 % lotion
                  Acne Control Cleanser topical
                  -
                  10 % cream
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  9.8 % foam
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  6 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  6 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  9.8 % foam
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5.3 % foam
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  10 % gel
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  10 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  10 % gel
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5 % liquid
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5 % gel
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  5 % gel
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  2.5 % gel
                  benzoyl peroxide topical
                  -
                  7 % liquid

                  Copyright © 2010 First DataBank, Inc.

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                  Patient Handout

                  Patient Education
                  benzoyl peroxide topical

                  BENZOYL PEROXIDE - TOPICAL

                  (BEN-zoh-il per-OX-ide)

                  COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Benoxyl, Benzac AC, Benzac W, Benzagel, Brevoxyl, Desquam, Fostex, Lavoclen-4, Lavoclen-8, Neobenz Micro, Persa-Gel, Triaz, Vanoxide, Zoderm

                  USES: This medication is used to treat mild to moderate acne. It may be used in combination with other acne treatments. When applied to the skin, benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria and by causing the skin to dry and peel.Check the ingredients on the label even if you have used the product before. The manufacturer may have changed the ingredients. Also, products with similar names may contain different ingredients meant for different purposes. Taking the wrong product could harm you.

                  HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using this product and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Before using this product for the first time, check if you are allergic to it. To check, put a small amount on one or two small areas of acne for three days. If you have an allergic reaction, stop using this product and get medical help right away (see the symptoms of an allergic reaction in the Side Effects section). If you don't have an allergic reaction, you can use the product.There are many benzoyl peroxide products available. Many can be purchased without a prescription. Some products (such as cleansers, foam, or lotions) may require a prescription. Consult your doctor or pharmacist on the choice of the product that is best for you. If you are using the over-the-counter product to self-treat, read and follow all directions on the product package before using this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, use it as directed.Some products require shaking before use. Check your product package to see if your form of this medication needs to be shaken.Apply benzoyl peroxide to the areas of your skin affected by acne. Avoid getting this medication into your eyes, inside your nose or mouth, or on any areas of broken skin since it may cause irritation. If this occurs, flush the area with plenty of water. Benzoyl peroxide may bleach hair or fabrics. Use carefully, and avoid contact with hair, clothing, and furnishings.If using cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide, wet the affected area. Gently rub the cleanser into the skin for 10-20 seconds. Work into a full lather and rinse thoroughly and then pat dry. If too much drying occurs, you may need to rinse the cleanser off sooner or use it less often. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further details.If you are using the liquid wash, cleansing pad, or cleanser bar, use it instead of soap once or twice a day. Wet the skin before applying, gently work up a lather for 10 to 20 seconds, and rinse thoroughly. Do not scrub the skin.If using the shaving cream, first wet the area to be shaved. Apply a small amount of the medication, gently rub into the area, and then shave.If you are using a cream, foam, lotion, or gel, apply it to the affected area as directed, usually once or twice a day. Before applying each dose, gently wash the affected area with a mild cleanser, then pat dry. Apply a small amount of medicine to the affected area and rub in gently. Some products may require rinsing off after application for a certain amount of time. Check your product package to see if your form of this medication needs to be rinsed off.If you are using the medicated pads or sponges, wash the affected skin with a mild cleanser, then pat dry. Wipe the pad or sponge gently onto the skin to apply the medication, usually once or twice a day to the skin as directed.The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Improvement in acne is usually seen after 3 weeks of use, and maximum benefit after 8-12 weeks of use. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than directed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.

                  SIDE EFFECTS: Skin reactions such as peeling, itching, irritation, and reddened skin may occur, especially at the start of treatment. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. You may need to apply smaller amounts of the drug or use it less often. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

                  PRECAUTIONS: Before using benzoyl peroxide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as perfumes), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

                  DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.A product that may interact with this drug is: dapsone used on the skin.

                  OVERDOSE: This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

                  NOTES: Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.

                  MISSED DOSE: If you are using this product on a regular schedule and miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

                  STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Refer to storage information printed on your package for the exact temperature range. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

                  Information last revised August 2021. Copyright(c) 2021 First Databank, Inc.

                  IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

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                  Formulary

                  FormularyPatient Discounts

                  Adding plans allows you to compare formulary status to other drugs in the same class.

                  To view formulary information first create a list of plans. Your list will be saved and can be edited at any time.

                  Adding plans allows you to:

                  • View the formulary and any restrictions for each plan.
                  • Manage and view all your plans together – even plans in different states.
                  • Compare formulary status to other drugs in the same class.
                  • Access your plan list on any device – mobile or desktop.

                  The above information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only. Individual plans may vary and formulary information changes. Contact the applicable plan provider for the most current information.

                  Tier Description
                  1 This drug is available at the lowest co-pay. Most commonly, these are generic drugs.
                  2 This drug is available at a middle level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "preferred" (on formulary) brand drugs.
                  3 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs.
                  4 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs or specialty prescription products.
                  5 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs or specialty prescription products.
                  6 This drug is available at a higher level co-pay. Most commonly, these are "non-preferred" brand drugs or specialty prescription products.
                  NC NOT COVERED – Drugs that are not covered by the plan.
                  Code Definition
                  PA Prior Authorization
                  Drugs that require prior authorization. This restriction requires that specific clinical criteria be met prior to the approval of the prescription.
                  QL Quantity Limits
                  Drugs that have quantity limits associated with each prescription. This restriction typically limits the quantity of the drug that will be covered.
                  ST Step Therapy
                  Drugs that have step therapy associated with each prescription. This restriction typically requires that certain criteria be met prior to approval for the prescription.
                  OR Other Restrictions
                  Drugs that have restrictions other than prior authorization, quantity limits, and step therapy associated with each prescription.
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                  Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.