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Epiduo

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Reviews
About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 14/02/2020 Next review: 14/08/2020

What is Epiduo?

Epiduo is a topical acne treatment which contains a retinoid called adapalene and a keratolytic called benzoyl peroxide.

The treatment is available as an off-white opaque gel which is applied directly to the affected area. Epiduo only needs to be applied to the skin once a day, unlike other acne treatments which may require several daily applications.

Epiduo is not available over the counter and requires a prescription from a doctor. You can get a prescription for Epiduo online from Prescription Doctor, following an online consultation. To get started, click here.


Where can I buy Epiduo?

You can buy Epiduo in 45g, 90g and 135g tubes from Prescription Doctor's trusted online pharmacy. To begin your order, simply complete our short online consultation for our doctor to review. If your order is approved by our doctor before 3pm, they will issue a prescription for Epiduo which our UK based pharmacy will fulfil.

Our pharmacy will package your item in discreet packaging which gives no indication of the contents therein. Orders are sent via a next-day tracked delivery service, so that you can get treatment for acne as soon as tomorrow.

Our online doctor is on hand to answer any questions you may have about your condition or the treatment itself.


What causes acne?

There are a number of different factors which can contribute to the development of acne. While some causes can be managed, others cannot.

Acne can simply be hereditary. If your parents suffered from severe acne, there is a chance you might too.

In many cases, acne is attributed to hormonal changes - hence why teenagers are more prone to acne during puberty. The increase of testosterone in men and progesterone in women are linked to the development of acne.

Some women may experience acne break outs during the luteal phase of the menopause or in the early stages of pregnancy, when progesterone levels are high. The exact mechanism of how progesterone causes acne is not fully understood.

Other causes of acne include smoking and medications.

If you suspect a medication you are taking may be the cause of your acne, speak to your doctor. You shouldn't stop taking a medication that has been prescribed to you without first consulting your doctor.


How does acne develop?

Acne starts when a pore in the skin becomes blocked with dead skin cells and keratin, a substance which hairs and nails are made from.

Sebaceous glands below the surface of the skin secrete an oily substance called sebum. Sebum forms a protective layer over the skin and keeps the skin (epidermis) hydrated.

With the pore blocked, the sebum has no way to escape and so it builds up under the skin.

Bacteria begin to feed on this excess build up of sebum. When the bacterium feed, they excrete fatty acids and other materials which irritate the sebaceous glands and surrounding tissues, resulting in inflammation.

How acne develops under the skin

The body's immune system may kick in retaliation to this and fight the bacteria. During this, dead cells and bacteria become accumulate in the head of spot, creating pus.

While the body is good at clearing the odd blemish or a single spot, acne break outs are much harder for the body to control and may require treatment to get rid of them.


How does Epiduo work for acne?

Epiduo combines both a retinoid and a peeling agent which work together to clear acne.

The retinoid (adapalene) unblocks the pores of the skin to prevent acne from forming under the skin, while also reducing redness and inflammation of the affected area.

Benzoyl peroxide has antimicrobial properties which kills the bacteria at the sight of the acne. It also helps to remove dead skin cells, keratin and sebum from the skin.

When used consistently, Epiduo is an effective treatment for acne which is suitable for people who have tried adapalene and benzoyl peroxide on their own but have experienced lacklustre results.


How do I use Epiduo Gel?

Epiduo is applied topically to the affected areas once a day, typically at night before you go to bed.

Use the treatment regularly at the same time each day for the best results. Using more than prescribed will not improve your acne any faster.

Before you apply Epiduo, wash the affected areas of the skin with warm water and a mild soap. Pat the area dry before applying the treatment.

Using only a pea-sized drop of the gel, apply a thin layer of Epiduo gel to the affected areas of the skin once a day.

Always wash your hands after applying the treatment.

If you accidentally apply too much of the gel, simply wipe away the excess with a clean tissue and discard of it safely.

Please understand that using more Epiduo than prescribed by your doctor will not clear your acne faster, but it may increase your risk of experiencing side effects.

Do not apply Epiduo to broken skin.

Take care when applying Epiduo to areas around the eyes, nose and mouth. If you get some Epiduo in your eyes, rinse your eyes with water. If you experience irritation long after rinsing it, contact your doctor immediately.

Epiduo comes in a tube with a screw on top. To get the most out of your Epiduo gel, roll the tube from the bottom rather than squeezing it from the side. This will prevent the gel getting trapped in creases as you use Epiduo.

If you are unsure about how to apply Epiduo, or how much you should use, ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice.

What should I do if I forget to use Epiduo?

If you forget to use Epiduo gel when you should, use it as soon as you remember. If it nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue taking your medicine as normal.

Do not use more Epiduo gel to make up for the missed application.


Epiduo side effects and cautions

All medications carry the risk of side effects, though not everybody experiences them. It's important to educate yourself on the side effects which could be caused by your medication in order to stay safe.

Information regarding the safety of Epiduo can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine. Alternatively, you can view the leaflet online here.

During the first week of treatment, your risk of side effects is greatest as your skin adjusts to the medication.

Before taking your first dose, you may wish to perform a patch test. Clean an area of your skin with warm soapy water and pat dry. Apply a very small amount to the area of clear skin and leave for 24 hours. If you experience an allergic reaction, consult your doctor immediately.

Side effects of Epiduo

Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Dry skin
  • Local skin rash
  • Burning sensation
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Redness
  • Scaling

Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):

  • Itching of the skin (pruritus)
  • Sunburn

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Epiduo, including a complete list of side effects can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medication.

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, report them to your doctor, ask a pharmacist or dial NHS 111 for advice.

Allergies

Do not use Epiduo if you are allergice to adapalene, benzoyl peroxide or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop using Epiduo and inform your doctor right away. For severe allergic reactions, such as suspected anaphylaxis, go straight to your nearest accident and emergency department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medication with you so that doctors know exactly what you have taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightening
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not use Epiduo if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. Speak to your doctor for further advice.

If you become pregnant while using Epiduo, inform your doctor as soon as possible as the treatment will need to be ceased.

Epiduo can be used by women who are breastfeeding, though you should avoid your child coming into contact with the treatment. For this reason, application of Epiduo to the chest should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers.

If you would like to know more about the safety of Epiduo during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy Epiduo online from Prescription Doctor.

Please inform our doctor of all medication you are currently taking, including those prescribed by your GP or bought over the counter from a pharmacy, as well as health and herbal supplements.

Do not use Epiduo past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the specified month.

Never throw away medicine via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expired medication to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of it safely on your behalf.

Always store medicine out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Never share your Epiduo gel with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.


Frequently asked questions

Will Epiduo affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Epiduo should not impact your ability to drive or operate machinery.

Can I drink alcohol while using Epiduo Gel?

Yes, you can drink alcohol in moderation while using Epiduo gel. Always adhere to the recommended limit of 14 units of alcohol per week.

Will Epiduo Gel affect my contraceptive pill?

Epiduo gel should not impact your contraceptive pill. For further information about the use of Epiduo alongside other medication, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.

Can I use moisturiser with Epiduo Gel?

You can use moisturisers on your skin once the Epiduo gel has been absorbed by your skin. Wait for the area of the skin to become dry before applying a moisturiser.

Can I apply makeup while using Epiduo?

Before applying makeup, ensure the treated area is dry. If you are going to apply make-up in the morning, use Epiduo before you go to bed. Avoid makeup which may have a drying effect on your skin.

Can I use other acne treatments with Epiduo gel?

Do not use other products which contain adapalene or benzoyl peroxide while using Epiduo. Avoid using peels which contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid while using this epiduo as this can cause further irritation or adverse effects. Before using any other acne treatment with epiduo, speak to your doctor.


Table of contents

What is Epiduo

Where can I buy Epiduo?

What causes acne?

How does acne develop?

How does Epiduo work for acne?

How do I use Epiduo Gel?

Epiduo side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions

Additional resources

Natural ways to control your acne.

Control your hormones, control your acne

How to use Tea Tree oil for acne?

What is 'bacne' and how is it treated?

References

NHS, 2019. Acne: Overview, causes, diagnosis, treatment, complications.

British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), 2020. Acne.

Galderma, 2020. Epiduo 0.1%/2.5% Gel: Summary of Product Characteristics

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Epiduo
  • Active Ingredient(s): Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Manufacturer: Galderma
  • Administration: Apply to affected area
  • Presentation: Gel
  • Available Strength: 45g Adapalene (0.1%) and Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%)
  • Exemption: Prescription Only Medicine
  • Application: Men and women over 18 with acne
  • Dosage: Apply once daily to affected area
  • Description: Topical treatment for acne
  • Drug Class: Retinoid
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • When Pregnant: Do not use when pregnant. Speak to your doctor for more advice.
  • When Breastfeeding: Safe to use when breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for more advice.
Click here to view the Epiduo - Patient Information Leaflet

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