Erythromycin / Benzoyl Peroxide (Benzamycin)

Topical Antibiotic / Topical Antibacterial

The following side effects are expected to occur in the first few weeks of treatment, and resolve with continued use of erythromycin / benzoyl peroxide. Contact your doctor if these symptoms are severe and/or do not go away:

How Common (based on clinical studies)

Burning, stinging, or tingling sensationUp to 21% of all users
ItchingUp to 21% of all users
Skin peeling or scalingUp to 32% of all users
Dryness of skinUp to 47% of all users
Redness and/or warmth in the areaUp to 15 % of all users
SunburnUp to 1.8% of all users
Increased skin oilinessUnknown
Soreness or tenderness in the areaUnknown
Discoloration of skinUnknown

Erythromycin / Benzoyl peroxide may cause some side effects that are serious. If you experience any of the following uncommon side effects, get in touch with your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:

  • A sudden appearance of swelling and rash (known as hives)
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramps
  • Irritation or swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • Signs of fungal infection in the skin or nails such as discoloration, itching, or irritation
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Appearance of blood or mucus in stool
  • Swelling of any parts of the face

Erythromycin / Benzoyl peroxide may also cause other side effects that are not mentioned here. Contact your doctor if you experience any other troublesome symptoms when using erythromycin / benzoyl peroxide.

References
  1. UpToDate. Erythromycin (topical): drug information. Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/erythromycin-topical-drug-information?source=search_result&search=erythromycin&selectedTitle=1~146. Cited 1 February, 2017
  2. Chu A, Huber FJ, Plott RT.The comparative efficacy of benzoyl peroxide 5%/erythromycin 3% gel and erythromycin 4%/zinc 1.2% solution in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 136(2), 235-8 (1997).
  3. Leyden JJ, Hickman JG, Jarratt MT, Stewart DM, and Levy SF. The efficacy and safety of a combination benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin topical gel compared with benzoyl peroxide alone and a benzoyl peroxide/erythromycin combination product. J. Cutan. Med. Surg. 5(1), 37-42 (2001)
  4. Marazzi P, Boorman GC, Donald AE, and Davies HD. Clinical evaluation of double strength Isotrexin™ versus Benzamycin® in the topical treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris. Journal of dermatological treatment 13(3), 111-117 (2002).
  5. Thiboutot D, Jarratt M, Rich P, Rist T, Rodriguez D, and Levy S. A randomized, parallel, vehicle-controlled comparison of two erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide preparations for acne vulgaris. Clinical therapeutics 24(5), 773-785 (2002).
  6. Gupta AK, Lynde CW, Kunynetz RA, Amin S, Choi K, and Goldstein E.  A randomized, double-blind, multicenter, parallel group study to compare relative efficacies of the topical gels 3% erythromycin/5% benzoyl peroxide and 0.025% tretinoin/erythromycin 4% in the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris of the face. J. Cutan. Med. Surg. 7(1), 31-7 (2003).
  7. Rallis E, Verros C, Katoulis A, Katsarou A. Topical 5% benzoyl peroxide and 3% erythromycin gel: experience with 191 patients with papulopustular acne. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 21(3), 160-7 (2013).
  8. DailyMed. Erythromycin and Benzoyl Peroxide. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/search.cfm?labeltype=all&query=ERYTHROMYCIN+AND+BENZOYL+PEROXIDE&pagesize=20&page=1. Cited 10 January 2019.