Erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide (Topical)


Erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide is an antibiotic with the generic name of Benzamycin Pak. It is available in the form of a gel and its action borders on blocking the growth of bacteria that cause acne. It also works by destroying the harmful microorganisms and by clearing clogged skin pores. Some of the treatment outcomes for this medication include the drying and removal of the top skin layer to allow for the formation of fresh tissue on the surface.

Conditions Treated

  • Acne

Type Of Medicine

  • Topical antibiotic

Side Effects

It is not uncommon for a patient to experience specific undesired treatment effects while using erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide. Typically, a doctor prescribes the drug when its therapeutic value to the patient outweighs any potential side effects. The patient should always be aware of any unfavorable developments that may occur due to the use of their anti-acne regimen. In case of a misunderstanding about possible adverse treatment outcomes, the patient should see their doctor right away.

Though rarely, erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide has caused acne skin to burn, blister, swell or become itchy. In other cases, the affected organ may dry, peel off, or change color to red. Using the drug can also lead to eye irritation, skin discomfort upon exposure to sunlight, severe sunburn, and the swelling of body parts such as the throat, tongue, eyes, face, or nose. Still, as an adverse treatment outcome, the patient's skin may become painfully irritating, oily or tender, moderately stinging, or warm.

In some rare cases, a patient has developed other types of skin conditions (besides acne), including fungi-related infections, due to the extended or frequent use of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide. See your doctor right away if you experience any of the effects mentioned above while using the medication. Always consult your healthcare practitioner for tips on how to control any unwanted treatment effects that may not be in the above list.

Other severe erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide side effects that require urgent medical attention include:

  • Severe lightheadedness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Blood stains or mucus in the stool
  • Hives
  • Extreme abdominal pain
  • Changes in the condition of nails

Usually, it is normal for erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide to cause a mild scorching sensation on the skin. Once you apply the gel, you may experience the gently stinging side effect for a couple of minutes or longer. Such treatment outcomes typically disappear without any medical intervention. However, any persistent skin irritation requires reporting to the doctor.

Your healthcare professional may issue new directives for using your anti-acne medication if some of its mild side effects fail to improve within reasonable time. For instance, you may have to apply the gel less often to minimize discomfort.


The correct dosage of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide for treating acne depends on the specific condition of a patient, and only a healthcare practitioner may prescribe it. The regimen comes in the form of a gel for external skin application. Typically, the patient may need to use it twice daily, in the morning and evening. It is very imperative for an individual to follow the user directions on the prescription label strictly and consult their doctor about any instructions they do not understand.

Applying more erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide than the doctor ordered is highly discouraged as it does not accelerate symptom improvements. Additionally, using the medication for longer than prescribed can expose the patient to other skin conditions. Many patients start seeing full treatment results of this anti-acne regimen after several weeks of application. Nonetheless, the patient should keep using the drug as advised by their doctor even if they do not experience significant improvements initially or even months after starting their treatment.

As you use erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, avoid its ingestion and be sure the gel does not come into contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth. Likewise, the treatment is not for application on skin areas with wounds or injury. Use clean water to immediately rinse off any gel that accidentally gets into a cut or an otherwise exposed skin area.

Adults, adolescents, and children aged 12 or older should use erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide to treat acne by administering a thin layer of the gel on the affected skin region as the doctor ordered (usually two times per day). Only a healthcare practitioner can determine the right dosage for younger children with acne.

If your doctor recommends that you use the medication in the morning and evening, do precisely that every day to avoid forgetfulness and skipping a regular dose. Always look for an early opportunity to make up for any daily dose that you missed. However, sometimes it is too late to take a forgotten medication, in which case, you should proceed to the next regular treatment rather than apply the anti-acne gel twice at the same time.

Below are essential steps/considerations for using the medication:

  • You'll use your hands to apply erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, so make sure these are clean (you may wash them with soap and water).
  • Use warm water with a mild cleanser to wash the skin surface before applying the gel.
  • Open the pouch that contains Benzamycin Pak and squeeze its contents into the palm of one of your hands. A clear gel and white gel will come out. Mix the drugs thoroughly using the tip of your other hand's index finger (moving the fingertip in a circular motion about ten times).
  • Apply a thin layer of the just blended medication evenly on the entire target skin area in addition to the pimples. Be sure to rub the gel gently onto the area using your fingertips.
  • In case you just shaved or took a shower, wait around 30 minutes before using erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide.
  • To avoid drying your skin and potentially deteriorating your acne, do not wash an affected area too often. It may suffice to use a mild detergent and water twice to maintain skin hygiene.

Major Drug Interactions

Before starting to use erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, you want to take into account any possible interaction the gel may have with other drugs you are using. Adverse interactions between drugs may compromise the effectiveness of treatment or even escalate side effects. As such, be sure to inform your physician about any other medications that you are currently taking.

Keep in mind that erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide can interact with non-prescription drugs with regrettable consequences. Likewise, prepare a list of any dietary supplements, vitamins, or herbal products that you are using, and share the information with your doctor before beginning your anti-acne treatment.

There are potential medicinal interactions between erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide and other topical skin care products, including cosmetics, aftershaves, treated soaps, and therapies that contain alcohol. Possible adverse reactions include irritation, dryness, and itchiness of the skin.

The purpose of informing your doctor about other medications you are taking is to help them work out a regimen that is most appropriate and safest for you. The healthcare professional may use the information you provide to determine the right dosage as well as medication for the treatment of your skin condition.

Typically, doctors avoid prescribing erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide to acne patients that are already on medication such as amifampridine, grepafloxacin, lovastatin, ziprasidone, and ergoloid mesylates. If a patient has to use the anti-acne drug, their doctor may recommend a change of the other regimens.

Sometimes, a patient receiving treatment for acne may have to use specific drugs that have known medical interactions. A doctor will prescribe such medicines along with erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide only when there is no other way around it. In that case, a change in the amount of one or both medications may be necessary. Such regimes include amiodarone, amiodarone, escitalopram, pixantrone, probucol, fosaprepitant, aprindine, and bedaquiline.

It is equally imperative for a patient already using erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide to control pimples on their skin to be aware of specific medication that can increase the risk or severity of particular side effects. The doctor will consider such medicines before deciding on the right dosage for the anti-acne regimen. The drugs include:

  • Bexarotene
  • Cyclosporine
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Trimetrexate
  • Zafirlukast
  • Roflumilast
  • Diazepam
  • Sirolimus

The use of topical erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide does not require any specific dietary requirements. However, the patient may still wish to confirm the absence of any possible interactions between the medication and the food they eat. Individuals that use tobacco or alcohol should always seek medical advice before using any drug.

It is also vital for the doctor to know about any other medical conditions that the patient has. If such health disorders exist, they may impact the dosage, effectiveness, and application of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide in treating acne. For example, you should let your doctor know if you are experiencing severe diarrhea while seeking treatment for acne. Similarly, the drug is known to make fungal skin infections worse.


  • If erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide has expired before the patient has experienced full treatment benefits, they should stop using the drug because it may be ineffective. Instead, they should see their healthcare practitioner about fresh medication supplies that work correctly.
  • The patient should not discontinue the use of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide on their own accord because doing so may compromise the management of their skin condition. Some individuals may need to continue taking the medication for up to 3 months before full recovery or until their doctor recommends a change of treatment. Nevertheless, 3-4 weeks of applying the skincare gel are enough to yield acne improvement, failure to which, the patient should seek medical observation and intervention.
  • The gel can catch fire quickly so you should not expose it to a flame.
  • If you have any allergies to medications such as Desquam and Triaz, inform your doctor about it. Reporting all allergic reactions to other substances such as foods, additives, preservatives, animal products, or dyes is also vital to the safety of a patient receiving the anti-acne treatment.
  • Since erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide can cause dryness of the skin, you may ask your doctor if it is okay to use a moisturizer during treatment.
  • Liaise closely with your doctor over the entire course of treatment. Routine medical checkups are important too as they help your healthcare professional determine if the anti-acne medication you are using is delivering results. During your regular trips to the doctor's office, the healthcare giver may discover and help fix numerous complications like adverse drug interactions and side effects promptly.
  • You may experience unusual skin discomforts when you step out in the sun while taking erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide. In that case, you may want to limit your exposure to sunlight. Likewise, embrace protective gear, including sunglasses and sunscreens while you are outdoors. Sunlamps and tanning beds have a similar effect to extremely light-sensitive skin as sunlight, so you want to avoid those too.
  • Some unfavorable treatment outcomes may be severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention. These include acute swelling of any part of the body, including the throat, eyes, nose, etc., and trouble breathing. If you experience such side effects, discontinue your anti-acne medication and seek help right away.
  • To minimize potential medical interactions, use any other prescription medication not less than 1 hour after applying erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide. This way, you'll avoid unnecessary skin irritation. The time interval also allows all the different medications you are taking to work well.
  • Erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide has bleaching properties, so any contact with colored clothing or hair is undesirable.
  • Avoid using skin-care products that may escalate your acne. If you must use the solutions while taking erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, try products that do not include oil in their composition.
  • Avoid using other topical medications along with erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide to treat the same acne spots on the skin, unless your doctor recommends it. As such, steer clear from peeling agents and any other solutions that may increase skin irritation or dryness.
  • For your safety and that of the unborn child, inform your doctor if you are pregnant before starting your erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide treatment. In case you are breastfeeding or intend on becoming pregnant, your healthcare professional should know too. Similarly, contact the doctor right away once you become pregnant while applying the anti-acne gel.
  • Due to the lack of adequate research into the safety and effectiveness of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide in children below 12 years, precautions are necessary before administering the medication to this age group.


Store erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide somewhere kids cannot access. The refrigerator is an ideal storage solution for the medication. Avoid exposure to extreme heat, direct light, and freezing conditions.

Discard all expired or unneeded medication according to the advice of your pharmacist or doctor. Remove Benzamycin Pak from its foil pouch only when you are about to use it.


Erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide is an antibiotic that treats acne, which is a skin condition that affects children, teenagers, and adults. It is available in the form of a gel that the patient rubs on affected skin areas twice per day or as per the recommendations of their doctor. The anti-acne regimen is for external use only.

A doctor decides the right dosage for treating acne depending on the severity of a specific case. The patient should, therefore, continue to visit their healthcare giver for regular assessments of the effect the medication is having on their condition. In most cases, the skin pimples start disappearing within 3-4 weeks of using the drug. Full recovery may occur in 2 to 3 months if the patient is following their dosage strictly. However, the disorder may persist for longer, in which case the patient must continue using their medicine as prescribed.

You may retain your regular diet while taking erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide unless your doctor considers it unhealthy. The drug rarely causes any adverse side effects, but when it does, the patient should see their caregiver for remedial directives. Always apply the regimen as your physician ordered for effective treatment and to avoid any unnecessary complications.