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Adapalene/benzoyl peroxide (On the skin)

Adapalene (a-DAP-a-leen), Benzoyl Peroxide (BEN-zoe-il per-OX-ide)

Treats acne.

Brand Name(s):

Epiduo, Epiduo Forte

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to adapalene or to benzoyl peroxide.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Extra medicine will not make it work faster and may cause red, peeling, or irritated skin.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Before you apply this medicine, wash your skin with water and a mild soap. Rinse well and pat dry.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use any other medicines on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Do not use any skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin. These include rough skin cleansers, hair removal products, soaps or cosmetics that cause dryness, or products that contain alcohol, astringents, spices, or lime.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, wind, and cold weather. Use sunscreen when you are outdoors, and wear protective clothing, such as a hat. Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed.
  • Use a moisturizer as needed if your skin becomes irritated.
  • Do not use waxing as a hair removal method on skin areas treated with this medicine.
  • Allow this medicine to dry completely before you get dressed. This medicine may cause bleaching of clothes or hair.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined. Do not use this medicine if you have a sunburn or eczema.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • You may need to use this medicine for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • Severe redness or swelling of the skin

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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