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Benzoyl Peroxide-Based Combination Therapies for Acne Vulgaris

A Comparative Review

Abstract

Benzoyl peroxide, with its broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, is among the most widely used topical agents in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris. Benzoyl peroxide is marketed either alone or in combination with other topical antibiotics; namely, erythromycin and clindamycin. The combination products confer specific advantages over benzoyl peroxide alone, particularly in decreasing the in vivo follicular counts of Propionibacterium acnes, the anaerobic bacterium implicated in the pathogenesis of acne. In addition, the topical treatment of inflammatory acne has been complicated by the development of P acnes resistance to topical erythromycin and clindamycin. Combination products containing benzoyl peroxide and the topical antibiotics have been shown to both: (i) prevent the development of antibiotic resistance in acne patients; and (ii) confer significant clinical improvement to patients who have already developed antibiotic resistance.

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Table I

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Acknowledgment

Dr Taylor has no financial interest or relevant conflicts of interest in this review. Dr Shalita is a consultant for Dermik and Stiefel Laboratories. His department has received research grants from both companies.

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Correspondence to Gina A. Taylor.

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Taylor, G.A., Shalita, A.R. Benzoyl Peroxide-Based Combination Therapies for Acne Vulgaris. Am J Clin Dermatol 5, 261–265 (2004). https://doi.org/10.2165/00128071-200405040-00005

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.2165/00128071-200405040-00005

Keywords

  • Acne
  • Clindamycin
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Combination Product
  • Topical Antibiotic