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Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide and Pregnancy

No human or animal studies have been done to look at clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide use during pregnancy. However, one of the drug's active ingredients, clindamycin, has been studied in pregnant animals and appears to be safe. If you are expecting, talk to your healthcare provider about the available acne treatments. Although this drug is unlikely to cause problems, the benefits may not outweigh the risks.

Can I Use Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide When Pregnant?

Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide (Acanya®, BenzaClin®, Duac®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of acne. It comes in the form of a gel that is applied directly to the skin. Because it is a topical medicine, this drug may be safe for use during pregnancy. However, the full risks are not known at this time.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been studied in pregnant humans but did appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
 
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
 
Neither benzoyl peroxide alone (one of the active ingredients in this medicine) nor the combination of clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide have been studied in pregnant women or animals. Clindamycin (the other active ingredient) did not appear to cause birth defects or other problems in the offspring when given to pregnant rats and mice at high doses.
 
Clindamycin is considered a pregnancy Category B medicine when used alone, and may be used to treat certain bacterial infections during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been studied adequately in pregnant humans but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
 
Very little of this medicine is expected to be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream with normal use. Therefore, it is unlikely that this medicine would cause significant risk during pregnancy. However, because of the lack of adequate studies, all possible risks cannot be ruled out.
 
Because acne is not a serious health threat, the use of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide during pregnancy may not outweigh the possibility of risks, even if small. If you desire acne treatment during pregnancy, ask your healthcare provider about the best options for pregnant women.
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide Information

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