Duac Acne Gel

Duac Acne Gel

Duac acne gel is a medicine that contains two active ingredients, an antibiotic named clindamycin, and a substance called benzoyl peroxide. These two substances work together to get rid of acne and other skin problems when used correctly and in the right strength. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Patient Leaflet(s)

Duac acne gel is a kind of medicine designed for the treatment of acne and spots. This medication contains two active ingredients, an antibiotic named Clindamycin, and a substance called Benzoyl Peroxide. The Benzoyl peroxide helps to soften and break down the skin at the top layer of the epidermis, allowing the antibiotic to penetrate deeper.  

What is Duac acne gel? 

Duac acne gel is a medicine that contains two active ingredients, an antibiotic named clindamycin, and a substance called benzoyl peroxide. These two substances work together to get rid of acne and other skin problems when used correctly and in the right strength.  

Duac acne gel is available as a once-daily formula in two strengths. The higher-strength medication will only be available to children over the age of 12 and adults. Duac acne gel is a fast-acting medication that can generate significant results when used properly. However, this medication will not act immediately.  

It can take between two and six weeks of treatment with Duac acne gel before you begin to see the full effects of the gel. It is important to persevere for as long as possible with this gel. If you haven’t seen any improvement after six weeks of regular use, speak to your doctor.  

When is Duac acne gel used? 

Duac acne gel is a once-daily gel that contains two active ingredients, both designed to help with the removal and treatment of acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. The Clindamycin in Duac acne gel is a topical antibiotic that can treat infections with bacterial contents. Clindamycin is very effective against a wide selection of bacteria, including the bacteria most commonly associated with acne.  

Duac acne gel also uses Benzoyl peroxide as a medication to break down the initial layers of skin and allow for the antibiotic to penetrate deeper into the epidermis. Duac acne gel works by breaking down keratin, which bonds part of the skin structure. This also helps with breaking down and removing whiteheads and blackheads. Duac acne gel can assist with unblocking the sebaceous glands too.  

How do you use Duac acne gel? 

Duac acne gel is an easy-to-use topical medication. This means that you apply it directly to the area of skin that needs to be treated. Crucially, although most people won’t have any problems with applying this gel, it is best to check the patient leaflet before you begin using Duac acne gel. Examining the leaflet included with your medication will help you to learn more about how to safely apply this substance, and what you can do to avoid side effects.  

Like with most topical medications, it’s best to ensure that the skin that you are applying the Duac acne gel to is clean. Begin by washing your skin with a mild cleanser. Pat the surface of the skin dry to avoid breaking it. Once your hands and the skin to be treated are clean, apply a thin layer of the gel to the entire affected area. Do not just place the gel on individual spots.  

Avoid applying the gel in an area of skin that is too close to the eyes, mouth, lips, and the lining of the nose. If you get Duac acne gel into any of these areas, make sure that you rinse it off thoroughly using water. Additionally, avoid applying Duac acne gel to any irritated, broken, or damaged skin. Wash your hands after you have finished your application, unless the area of skin to be treated is on the hands.  

Duac acne gel will take time to have a lasting result on your skin. If you experience excessive redness, peeling, or drying when using this medication, you may need to consult your doctor. Do not use this medication excessively, or more often than you are advised to do so. Using more of the medication than necessarily will increase your risk of side effects.  

What dosages are there? 

The amount of Duac acne gel that you need to use, and how regularly you will need to use it will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your condition. Before you begin using Duac acne gel¸ you will need to discuss your condition with your consultant or doctor.  

The most common dose of Duac acne gel is a small and thin layer of gel applied to the affected area of skin. A single fingertip unit – the length of your finger from the tip to the first crease will be enough to treat your entire face. Do not increase your dose of this drug unless your doctor advises you to do so.  if you find that your gel doesn't absorb into the skin when applied, then it may be that you have used too much.  

Duac acne gel is best used for only short periods of time. You should not use this medication for more than 12 weeks at a time without advice from a medical professional. You will be advised which strength of Duac acne gel is right for you.  

What are the side effects of Duac acne gel? 

Medicines, including Duac acne gel and other topical treatments, can sometimes have side effects that are not intended. That is because different medications affect people in very different ways. The most common side effects of Duac acne gel are likely to happen when you first begin using the medication, because your skin will not be used to the ingredients. If you notice dry skin, burning, itching, or redness, these problems should diminish by themselves. Seek assistance if you find that these issues persist or worsen over time. 

Remember, it is possible to use moisturizing creams with Duac acne gel to reduce the negative effects that it might have on your skin. However, you will need to be careful not to mix the Duac acne gel and the moisturizer on the surface of your skin.  

Because Duac acne gel is applied topically, it is very unlikely that enough of the active ingredients will be absorbed into the blood stream to cause dangerous side effects. However, this medication will rarely cause a severe condition when used over extended period of times. Clostridium difficile diarrhea can rarely occur. If you notice severe diarrhea that worsens or doesn’t go away, seek help from a doctor. Do not take any medications designed to stop diarrhea if you do have this side effect, as it could make your condition worse. Do not use opioid medications when you have diarrhea either.  

Very serious allergic reactions to Duac acne gel are rare. However, you should seek emergency attention from a medical professional if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction. Allergic responses can include trouble breathing, dizziness, and swelling in the throat, tongue and throat.  

When shouldn’t you use Duac acne gel? 

Although Duac acne gel is a very well tolerated medication, it will not be suitable for all people in all cases. It is important to discuss your case with your consultant and answer any questions that may be asked of you. Do not take Duac acne gel if you have any allergies to this medication or the active ingredients in it. Let your consultant know if you have any allergies – even those that might not seem relevant. Duac acne gel can include inactive ingredients that cause allergic reactions.  

You should not use Duac acne gel if you have eczema-prone skin or sensitive skin. Additionally, it is important to avoid Duac acne gel if you have a history of inflammation in any part of the intestines.  

Do not use Duac acne gel if: 

  • You have ulcerative colitis; 
  • You have inflammation in the large intestine; 
  • You recently have used any other medication containing clindamycin; 

It may not be safe to use Duac acne gel when pregnant or breastfeeding. The research into the interaction between Duac acne gel and pregnant women is still ongoing. Speak to your consultant if you’re concerned, and you may be able to find an alternative treatment that is better suited to you.  

Does Duac acne gel interact with other medications? 

Interactions between medications can sometimes cause very severe side effects. Duac acne gel can sometimes interact with the medications that you may already be using. Make sure that your consultant is aware of any other medications that you are using, including over-the-counter medications, and herbal substances.  

Keep a list of all the products that you are using and share it with your consultant when requested. Do not use Duac acne gel with other medications that contain the same ingredients. Additionally, if you are using moisturizer creams with this medication, make sure that you give each substance enough time to soak into the skin before applying the next one.  

Where can you buy Duac acne gel? 

Duac acne gel is available to purchase online with a prescription. A consultation will be necessary before you can access this medication.  

Can I get Duac acne gel without a prescription? 

It is not currently possible to get Duac acne gel without a prescription.  


Mayo Clinic, online, 2020, “Benzoyl Peroxide And Clindamycin (Topical Application Route)” [Accessed 15th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/benzoyl-peroxide-and-clindamycin-topical-application-route/side-effects/drg-20073165?p=1  

Medsafe, online, 2020, “Duac” [Accessed 15th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/consumers/cmi/d/duac.pdf

A, November 2019, online, “ How Duac Treats Acne”  [Accessed 15th of January 2020], Available on: https://www.verywellhealth.com/duac-acne-treatment-medication-15877 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.