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The drug combination benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin is a topical gel used for the treatment of acne. It is sold under the trade names Duac (by Stiefel Labs) and BenzaClin (by Sanofi Aventis). Both contain 1% clindamycin phosphate and 5% benzoyl peroxide and are prescription drugs.
Common side effects are peeling, itching, redness, dryness, burning, and dermatitis. Prolonged exposure to natural or artificial sun light (UV rays) is not recommended because the gel can cause photosensitivity. Also, benzoyl peroxide may cause bleaching of hair, clothing, et cetera, and topical clindamycin may rarely cause diarrhea or colitis.
Mode of action
Its activity is derived from the combined anti-bacterial action of clindamycin and from the comedolytic and anti-bacterial actions of benzoyl peroxide. Both ingredients have been shown to reduce the number of acne lesions with statistical significance.
Clindamycin phosphate is a water-soluble ester of the semi-synthetic antibiotic, clindamycin, which is synthesized from lincomycin. It prevents the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria from replicating by preventing it from making vital proteins. Benzoyl peroxide also kills P. acnes, but since it is an oxidizer, not an antibiotic, it is not subject to P. acnes resistance like clindamycin is. Also, benzoyl peroxide dries out the area, preventing clogged pores and is a keratolytic agent.
Duac comes supplied in two ways, in a 45 gram tube, and in the DUAC CS Convenience Kit, containing the 45 gram tube and a bottle of SFC Lotion, a soap-free cleanser that is applied to either wet or dry skin then rubbed off with a tissue or soft cloth.
- BenzaClin® (benzoyl peroxide; clindamycin) package insert. Berwyn, PA: Dermik Laboratories; 2006 Aug.
- PharmacisAnswers Acne Products Webpage Retrieved Feb 13, 2014