Precautions and Warnings With Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide
Although clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide is generally well tolerated as an acne medicine, there are many warnings and precautions to be aware of before starting treatment. For example, applying more gel, or applying it more often, will not make it work better or faster. Instead, it may irritate your skin. In addition, make sure to tell your healthcare provider about your medical history and current medications.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide (Acanya®, BenzaClin®, Duac®) if you have:
- Sunburned, windburned, or otherwise irritated skin
- Sensitivity to the sun or spend a lot of time in the sun
- Crohn's disease
- Ever had inflammation of the colon from taking antibiotics (antibiotic-associated colitis)
- Plans to have surgery with general anesthesia
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide Warnings and Precautions
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this drug include the following:
- Do not get this medicine into your eyes, mouth, nose, or other body openings, as it can irritate these areas. If this does occur, wipe the area clean, or gently rinse with water to remove the medicine.
- Using other topical acne products or abrasive cloths, sponges, or cleansers with clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide may cause severe skin irritation. Do not use these products unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Applying more than a pea-sized amount or using the gel more often than prescribed will not lead to faster or better results. Instead, it may cause more skin irritation, redness, and dryness.
- Do not apply this medicine to skin that is cut, scraped, sunburned, or has an open wound.
- Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gel may bleach hair or colored fabric. Let the medicine dry completely before touching your skin to colored materials, such as clothing, bed sheets, or pillowcases.
- This medicine will increase your sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, you should minimize your sun exposure and avoid artificial sun (such as sunlamps and tanning beds) while using it. Also, be sure to wear a PABA-free sunscreen and protective clothing, such as a hat, when you go outside. Your healthcare provider can recommend an appropriate sunscreen.
- You may experience some temporary or minor skin irritation, such as redness, itching, dryness, or stinging, when you use this medicine. This is normally not a cause for concern. Stop using this medication and contact your healthcare provider, however, if your skin becomes very red, irritated, itchy, or swollen.
- Like all antibiotics, clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide may increase the risk for developing a secondary skin infection, such as a fungal or yeast infection. Stop using this product and contact your healthcare provider if you develop a yeast infection or notice signs of a skin or nail infection, such as a red, scaly, itchy rash or discolored, painful, or swollen nails.
- All antibiotics, including clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide, may cause a potentially serious problem known as pseudomembranous colitis. This problem occurs when the antibiotic alters the normal bacteria in the gut, allowing undesirable bacteria to overgrow.
Although this problem is rare, especially with topical antibiotic use, you should stop using the medicine and contact your healthcare provider if you experience severe, bloody, or watery diarrhea, as these may be signs of this serious problem.
- Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide may react with a few other medications (see Drug Interactions With Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide).
- Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide is considered a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medication when pregnant (see Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk to your healthcare provider before beginning treatment with this drug (see Clindamycin/Benzoyl Peroxide and Breastfeeding).