27 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before using your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine.

1.  Generic Name or Active Ingredient:

     Benzoyl peroxide

2.  Uses:

     Available as cream or solution for the treatment of mild to moderate acne.

3.  How This Medicine Works:

Benzoyl peroxide is noted for its antiseptic or antibacterial action. It kills bacteria that cause inflammation of the oil glands. Benzoyl peroxide as an oxidizing agent dries out the sebum and fluids that have built up inside a blocked pore.

4.  Do Not Use This Medicine If:

  • You are allergic to benzoyl peroxide.

5.  Before You Start To Use This Medicine:

  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other drugs.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children.

6.    Using With Other Medication:

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine.

7.  How To Use This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. For further enquiries on medication call National Pharmacy Call Centre toll free line 1800-88-6722 (NPCC).

a)    How to apply

                  i.    Make sure the skin is clean and dry before applying.

                ii.    Apply a thin smear to areas of skin affected by acne.

               iii.    It can be used on the face as well as the body.

b)   When to apply

  • Initially apply every other night, then increase to once or twice daily as tolerated.

c)    How long to apply

  • Most people require a six-week course of treatment to clear most or all of their acne. You may be advised to continue treatment but less frequently to prevent acne returning.

d)   If you forget to apply

Apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine. Do not double the dose.


8.  While Using This Medicine:

a)    Things you should do:

  • Use benzoyl peroxide for topical application only.
  • Keep benzoyl peroxide away from your hair and coloured fabrics because it may bleach them.
  • Acne responds very slowly to treatment. It may take several months to notice improvement.
  • Benzoyl peroxide will reduce the efficacy of topical vitamin C when used at the same time. Allow at least 2 hours between applications of these two medications.

b)   Things you must NOT do:

  • Do not let benzoyl peroxide get into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you to.

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention.


9.  Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

      Possible side effects:
  • Dryness or peeling of skin
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Tingling
  • Slight stinging

10. Storage and disposal:

  • Store at room temperature and in a dry place.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not use after the expiry date has passed.
  • Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.
  1. Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0
  2. Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition
  3. Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities  2011
  4. British National Formulary Vol. 60