Well, it appears that there's a manufacturing problem with Duac (in the UK) and it's not currently available!
Last time I went to get my prescription, I was told by about 5 pharmacies that they couldn't get hold of any at the minute. I eventually found a pharmacy which had some and forgot all about it - I assumed there was maybe a slight delay with production. Anyway, I noticed that I was running low on Duac and remembered the issues I'd had previously. I rang a few pharmacies and they all said there were manufacturing issues. This was very troubling news as I've been using Duac for 8.5 years now! It reminded me of that terrible moment in 2002 when they stopped making Benzamycin for 6 months and my face exploded with acne.
I ended up ringing Glaxosmithkline (the makers) to see if they had any news and all they could say was that it might be available at the end of August. This date has already been pushed back a few times, so they couldn't guarantee this was definite. I began to panic a bit, but kept calm and investigated what options I had. The obvious idea was to get a topical clindamycin prescription and manually combine it with some benzoyl peroxide. I was aware that Dalacin T existed, but that comes as either a lotion or a solution. Then I found that there's a little known preparation called Zindaclin which is 1% clindamycin with zinc and comes in a gel. I spoke to my doctor and got a prescription for this.
I've been combining it with some 10% BP which I had lying around at home. I mix them up in my hands and then apply as normal. Been doing it three nights so far and no acne yet! My previous experience with changing topicals (which I haven't had to do since 2006!) is that if it's not going to work, you find out pretty damn quick. In 2002, when they stopped making Benzamycin, I got moved onto Zineryt and I had a big flare up within about five days. As I say, it's been three days and nothing yet. Who knows, perhaps this new combination - with stronger BP and some topical zinc - will actually work better than Duac. I'm still using Differin in the morning, so there is some consistency to my regime at present.
So, I'm not really sure what's going to happen. Will Duac be back any time soon? Will I end up staying on Zindaclin and BP?! Only time will tell!