Azelaic acid

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Generic Name: Azelaic acid Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available. Avability: Rx Pregnancy Category: N

Uses

What is Azelaic acid used for?

Azelaic acid is used to treat mild to moderate acne. It works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin and by helping to keep your pores open and unblocked, thus decreasing the number of acne pimples. Azelaic acid belongs to a class of drugs known as dicarboxylic acids.

How should I take Azelaic acid?

Before using this medication, clean the affected area and pat dry. Apply this medication to the skin usually twice daily, in the morning and evening, or as directed by your doctor. Apply a thin layer and massage gently into the affected areas. Wash your hands after use.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.

Avoid contact in or near the eyes or inside the nose and mouth. If this medication gets into any of these areas, wash right away with plenty of water and call your doctor if irritation persists. Do not place a bandage or cover over the cream unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Do not use large amounts of this medication or apply it more often than directed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of side effects may increase. Use this medication for the full course of treatment as directed by your doctor. It usually takes about 1 month to see an improvement, but the full effects of treatment may take longer.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve after 1 month or if it worsens.

How do I store Azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Azelaic acid in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Azelaic acid that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Azelaic acid down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Azelaic acid?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Azelaic acid during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is pregnancy risk category N according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Azelaic acid?

Temporary stinging, burning, itching, or tingling of the skin may occur, usually at the beginning of treatment. These effects usually lessen as your body adjusts to this medication. However, if minor irritation continues, your doctor may instruct you to only use this product once daily. If any of these effects persist or worsen, stop using this medication and tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Rarely, some people may experience lightening of skin color (hypopigmentation) after using this medication. This side effect may be more noticeable in people with dark skin color. Consult your doctor for more details and report any skin color changes.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Azelaic acid.

What is the dose of Azelaic acid for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Acne

20% Cream Formulations: Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) 2 times a day

Comments:

-The affected area(s) should be gently washed and patted dry before application.

-This drug should be gently but thoroughly massaged into the affected area(s) in the morning and evening.

-The duration of therapy is based upon the patient and the severity of the acne.

-Improvement in patients with inflammatory lesions usually occurs within 4 weeks.

Use: Topical treatment of mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris

Usual Adult Dose for Acne Rosacea

15% Gel/Foam Formulations: Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) 2 times a day

Comments:

-The affected area(s) should be gently washed and dried before application with a very mild soap or soapless cleansing lotion.

-This drug should be gently but thoroughly massaged into the affected areas in the morning and evening.

-Patients may apply cosmetics once the treatment has dried.

-Patients should be reassessed if improvement is not observed after completing 12 weeks of treatment.

-For patients using foam formulations, the smallest amount of foam should be used to adequately cover the affected area(s) with a thin layer.

Use: Topical treatment of the inflammatory papules and pustules of mild to moderate rosacea

Dose Adjustments

Skin irritation on application:

-Use may be temporarily stopped or the frequency of application decreased to once a day dosing until the effects have subsided.

-If irritation persists, treatment should be discontinued.

What is the dose of Azelaic acid for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acne

12 years and older:

20% Cream Formulations: Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) 2 times a day

Comments:

-The affected area(s) should be gently washed and patted dry before application.

-This drug should be gently but thoroughly massaged into the affected area(s) in the morning and evening.

-Improvement in patients with inflammatory lesions usually occurs within 4 weeks.

Use: Topical treatment of mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris

Precautions

Safety and efficacy in the treatment of acne have not been established in patients younger than 12 years; safety and efficacy in the treatment of rosacea have not been established in patients younger than 18 years.

How is Azelaic acid available?

Azelaic acid is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical cream,
  • Topical gel,
  • Topical kit,
  • Compounding powder,
  • Topical foam.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Azelaic acid, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 29, 2018 | Last Modified: August 29, 2018

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