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Azelaic acid (On the skin)

Azelaic Acid (ay-ze-LAY-ik AS-id)

Treats rosacea and severe acne.

Brand Name(s):

Azelex, Finacea

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to azelaic acid or propylene glycol.

How to Use This Medicine:

Cream, Gel/Jelly

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.
  • Before you use this medicine, wash the affected skin with mild soap or a cleansing lotion that does not contain soap. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
  • Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.
  • Do not use skin care products on the affected area that contain alcohol, peel off (such as masks), or are abrasive.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Increased skin redness
  • Severe skin swelling, itching, burning, peeling, or stinging

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild skin burning, stinging, tingling, dryness, or itching
  • Skin color that is lighter in areas where the medicine was applied

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 9/4/2014


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