azelaic acid topical (generic name)

It is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne.
(ay ze LAY ik AS id)
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What is this medicine?

AZELAIC ACID (ay ze LAY ik AS id) is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • herpes or cold sores
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to propylene glycol, azelaic acid, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after applying. Make sure the skin is clean and dry. Apply just enough cream to cover the affected area. Rub in gently but completely. Keep the cream away from the eyes, mouth, and other areas of sensitive skin. If accidental contact occurs, large amounts of water should be used to rinse the affected area. If eye irritation persists after thoroughly washing, contact your doctor or health care professional. Do not place a bandage, wrap, or dressing on top of skin where this medicine has been applied. If you are using other topical medicines, apply them at different times of the day.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products without telling your doctor or health care professional.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Contact your doctor or health care professional if your skin condition gets worse or does not get better in the first 4 weeks. Tell your doctor if the medicine causes too much redness, dryness, or peeling of skin. It may take longer than 4 weeks before you see the full effect.

You may use small amounts of water based cosmetics while using this medicine. Apply cosmetics after the cream has dried.

Avoid eating or drinking foods or beverages that may make redness, flushing, and blushing worse. Examples include spicy foods, alcohol, hot coffee, or hot tea.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • lightening of the treated areas (in patients with dark complexions)
  • severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dry skin
  • mild burning, itching, or stinging
  • reddening of the skin
  • skin peeling

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 11, 2009
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