Available in the form of a gel, Acanya is a medicine that is applied to the skin to treat acne. It contains a combination of two medications, which work by killing acne-causing bacteria. In most cases, this prescription skin gel is applied to the affected areas once daily. Possible side effects include skin irritation, such as redness, itching, and burning.
Acanya is made by Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited for Coria Laboratories.
How Does Acanya Work?
Acanya is a combination of benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. These medications work in different ways to treat acne.
Clindamycin belongs to a class of antibiotics known as lincosamides. It works by binding to bacterial ribosomes (the parts of cells that make proteins) and interfering with their ability to make proteins, which are necessary for bacteria to grow and multiply. This helps stop the spread of the bacteria that contribute to acne (Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes for short).
Benzoyl peroxide is also thought to work by killing P. acnes. It does this by releasing oxygen into the pores of the skin. Because P. acnes is a type of anaerobic bacteria, which means it lives without oxygen, the oxygen kills the bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide also helps soften and peel away the outer layer of the skin, which can open up clogged pores and help improve the skin's appearance.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Acanya [package insert]. Fort Worth, TX: Coria Laboratories;2010 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 8, 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed April 4, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 4, 2011.
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