What is Epiduo Gel?
Epiduo Gel is a preparation that is applied directly to the skin to treat acne. It contains the active ingredients adapalene 0.1%, and benzoyl peroxide 2.5%.
How does Epiduo Gel work?
Adapalene works in a similar way to other acne medicines called ‘retinoids’, which are derived from vitamin A. It is very effective at reducing skin inflammation, and is therefore especially useful for acne where there are blackheads, whiteheads, and/or pustules on the skin. It is best suited for use on dry and fair skin, and can be used on the chest or back as well as on the face, as necessary.
Benzoyl peroxide works in three ways: it removes any existing blockage from the skin pores, stops the production of excess sebum, and it also has an anti-bacterial action.
Creams and gels that are applied to the skin in this way are particularly suitable for people who cannot take – or do not wish to take - an antibiotic orally.
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How do I use Epiduo Gel?
It’s important to read the enclosed leaflet carefully before using Epiduo Gel.
The gel should be applied to the affected areas once a day, in the evening - after the area has been washed and rinsed with warm water and patted dry. Avoid the eyes, nostrils, and lips. The preparation comes in a tube, and is applied to the skin with the fingertips. It should not be used by children under the age of nine.
Epiduo Gel can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so avoid excessive exposure to the sun or other sources of UV light while you are using it.
It can take a little time before you will see your acne getting better - usually between one and four weeks after you start using Epiduo Gel. Tell your doctor if you have seen no visible improvement after this time.
Is Epiduo Gel suitable for me?
There are some situations whereby Epiduo Gel should be used with caution or would not be recommended - for example in patients who have severe acne or acne covering a large area of the body. It is not usually used at the same time as any other treatments for acne. If it doesn’t work for you, talk to your doctor as a different acne treatment might be better.
During your consultation, it is important to tell us if you are taking any other medicines, either from your doctor or purchased from a pharmacy without a prescription. Epiduo Gel may not be suitable or may need to be used with caution if you are taking some medicines, such as other medicines or creams/gels for acne, especially other ones that contain vitamin A derivatives (such as Isotrex) or benzoyl peroxide. It will not be suitable if you are allergic to adalapene, benzoyl peroxide, or any of the other ingredients.
You should not use Epiduo Gel if you are, or think you might be pregnant, or if you are, or planning to breast-feed. If you become pregnant, you should stop using the gel immediately.
It’s very important to give a full picture of your general health in the consultation, to make sure the doctor has all the information required to assess the suitability of Epiduo Gel for you.
What are the side effects of Epiduo Gel?
Like all medicines, Epiduo Gel can cause side effects, although not everybody will experience them.
Side effects that are considered to be common include skin dryness, redness, or irritation. These are most likely to occur in the first week of treatment, but usually subside after that. If you do experience skin irritation, use a gentle moisturiser, and consider using the gel less often (perhaps every other day), or stop using it for a period of time. Stop using it altogether if the issue persists.
If you experience any side effects that are persistent or troublesome, please stop using Epiduo Gel and talk to your doctor.
For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, please read the patient information leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment.
Online consultations are available through our convenient and confidential Online Doctor service, which could lead to Eqiduo Gel being prescribed as a treatment for acne.