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All about: azelaic acid topical

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Generic Name: azelaic acid topical (ah zeh LAY ic AH sid)
Brand Names: Azelex, Finacea, Finevin

What is azelaic acid topical?

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid. It helps the skin to renew itself more quickly and therefore reduces pimple and blackhead formation. It also helps to kill the bacteria that cause acne and rosacea.

Azelaic acid topical is used to treat acne and rosacea.

Azelaic acid topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about azelaic acid topical?

Do not use azelaic acid topical on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. It could make these conditions worse. Also avoid using azelaic acid topical on wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication.

Avoid the use of abrasive, harsh, or drying soaps and cleansers such as alcoholic cleansers, tinctures, astringents, abrasives, or peeling agents while using azelaic acid topical.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using azelaic acid topical?

Do not use azelaic acid topical on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. It could make these conditions worse. Also avoid using azelaic acid topical on wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication. Azelaic acid topical is the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use azelaic acid topical without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether azelaic acid topical passes into breast milk. Do not use azelaic acid topical without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use azelaic acid topical?

Use azelaic acid topical exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before and after applying this medication.

Clean the affected area with a mild soap or a soapless cleansing lotion and pat dry with a soft towel. Apply the medication as directed.

Azelaic acid topical is usually applied twice daily, in the morning and at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.

When applying azelaic acid topical, avoid the eyes, the inside of the nose and mouth, the lips, and areas where the skin is broken to prevent excessive irritation. If you get medication on any of these areas, rinse it off with water. Do not cover the affected area after applying azelaic acid. Doing so could cause too much medicine to be absorbed by the body and could be harmful.

If you notice a change in your skin color, contact your doctor.

It may take 4 weeks or more to see the effects of this drug. Do not stop using azelaic acid topical if you do not see results immediately.

If you experience excessive burning, dryness, or irritation, ask your doctor about using azelaic acid once daily.

Store azelaic acid topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and apply only the next regularly scheduled dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of azelaic acid topical is unlikely to occur. If you do suspect an overdose, or if azelaic acid topical has been ingested, call a poison control center or emergency room for advice.

What should I avoid while using azelaic acid topical?

Do not use azelaic acid topical on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. It could make these conditions worse. Also avoid using azelaic acid topical on wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using this medication.

Avoid the use of abrasive, harsh, or drying soaps and cleansers such as alcoholic cleansers, tinctures, astringents, abrasives, or peeling agents while using azelaic acid topical.

Do not use other topical preparations on the same area unless directed to do so by your doctor. They may interfere with treatment or increase skin irritation.

Your doctor may recommend avoidance of consuming spicy foods, hot foods or drinks, alcoholic beverages and other foods or beverages that may cause flushing or redness of the skin during treatment with azelaic acid topical.

Do not cover the area after applying azelaic acid. Doing so could cause too much medicine to be absorbed by your body and could be harmful.

Azelaic acid topical side effects

Serious side effects are not likely to occur. Stop using azelaic acid topical and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives).

You may experience some burning, warmth, stinging, tingling, itching, redness, dryness, peeling, or irritation while using azelaic acid topical. If these side effects are excessive, ask your doctor about using azelaic acid once daily.

If you have dark skin and you notice changes in your skin color, contact your doctor.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect azelaic acid topical?

Do not use other topical preparations on the same area unless directed to do so by your doctor. They may interfere with treatment or increase skin irritation.

Avoid the use of abrasive, harsh, or drying soaps and cleansers such as alcoholic cleansers, tinctures, astringents, abrasives, or peeling agents while using azelaic acid topical.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with azelaic acid topical. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about azelaic acid topical written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Azelaic acid topical is available with a prescription under the brand names Azelex, Finevin, and Finacea. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:05:37 PM.

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