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How Erythromycin/Benzoyl Peroxide Works and Treatment Tips

Clinical Effects

Erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide has been shown to improve acne in clinical studies of moderate-to-moderately severe acne by reducing the number of acne lesions and improving skin appearance. In these studies, people used erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide, Benzamycin Pak, or a placebo (a gel that did not contain any active ingredients) twice daily for eight weeks. Everyone in the study washed their face twice daily with warm water and a mild cleanser.
After eight weeks of treatment, people using erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide or Benzamycin Pak had, on average, up to a 48 percent decrease in the number of acne lesions. By comparison, people using the placebo gel had, on average, up to a 26 percent decrease in acne lesions. Also, 36 percent of those using Benzamycin Pak were considered clear or almost clear of acne when the study ended, compared with 12 percent of those using the placebo.

When and How to Use This Medication

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide include the following:
  • This medication comes in a gel form. It is applied in a thin layer to the affected area(s) of the skin twice daily, in the morning and evening.
  • Before applying this medication, you should wash the affected area(s) with a mild cleanser, rinse with warm water, and gently pat dry.
  • When using Benzamycin Pak, you will need to mix the medication immediately before use. This is done by placing the two medicines from the foil pouch into the palm of your hand, and gently mixing them with your finger.
  • Erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide should only be applied to the skin. Avoid getting it in your eyes, nose, mouth, or other body openings, as it can irritate these areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the medication.
  • To minimize the risk of excessive skin irritation, do not use astringents, alcohol-containing toners, or medicated skin products while using erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide, without your healthcare provider's approval.
  • This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Try to avoid prolonged sun exposure. If you do go out into the sun, make sure to use sunscreen and protective clothing, such as a hat.
  • It is important to know that this medication can bleach your hair or colored fabric, such as towels, sheets, and clothing.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.

Erythromycin/Benzoyl Peroxide Information

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