Generic Name(s): Benzoyl Peroxide
Drug Class: Topical acne agent
Treats: Acne Vulgaris
Benzagel is a first line topical antibacterial agent which is an organic compound in the peroxide family. It is an effective agent used in the treatment of Acne vulgaris. It acts against Propionibacterium acnes and has comedolytic effects which promotes shedding of keratinized epithelial cells after being converted to benzoic acid.
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Benzagel is used to remove follicular plugs to allow sebum to flow freely and minimize bacterial colonization of skin. It is used as a first-line topical agent for acne treatment due to its bactericidal effect on Propionibacterium acnes, bacteria associated with acnes. Benzagel is locally applied to the affected areas in gel form in initial concentrations of 2.5% increasing through 5.0% up to 10%. It penetrates the stratum corneum or follicular openings unchanged and is converted metabolically to benzoic acid within the epidermis and dermis.
Benzagel may also be used for bleaching of hair, teeth and flour and for cross-linking of resins. In summary, Benzagel is indicated for;
- Tooth whitening
- Bleaching hair
Your doctor will determine Benzagel dosage depending on a number of factors such as the severity of acne, medical history, other medical conditions or other medications that you may be using. Stick to the Benzagel dose as directed by the doctor and never alter the dosage plan unless authorized by the doctor.Below you will find a typical dosage of Benzagel.
Dosage for Acne vulgaris:
- Apply 2.5% once daily for the first week and progress to 5- 10% twice daily.
Note that, care should be taken to avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes.
Benzagel Side Effects
Using Benzagel may cause side effects that may differ from one person to the other. The acuteness of the side effects may be different from one patient to the other depending on the patient’s body ability to handle the effects of the drug. Stop using Benzagel and report severe side effects to your doctor immediately. Seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms become severe or bothersome.
- Drying of the skin
- Allergic contact dermatitis.
- Slight reddening of the skin
Call your doctor immediately if the following serious side effects manifest while using Benzagel:
- Severe or persistent pruritus
- Local skin irritation
- Worsening dryness.
- Persistent burning or stinging.
- Severe allergic reactions e.g. hives, rashes, pruritus, breathing difficult, chest tightness etc.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Before taking Benzagel with other drugs, inform your doctor about any medical conditions or allergies that you may have especially propylene glycol. This is because using Benzagel with other drugs may affect how the drug works and delay the expected results. Some pharmaceutical agents may interfere with Benzagel and it is paramount to consult your doctor on any prescription, nonprescription medicines, herbal products, or dietary supplements you are taking before he/she initiates Benzagel therapy.
Below is a list of topical agents that may cause drug interaction with Benzagel:
- Salicylic acid
This is not an all-inclusive list of possible drug interactions. Do not starts, stop, or alter the dosage of any medicines without approval from your doctor.