Acne Home > Duac

Available by prescription only, Duac is a medicated gel applied to the skin once daily to treat acne. As a combination of two medicines, it works by killing acne-causing bacteria. For the best results, apply this medicine to the entire affected area, rather than individual pimples. Side effects may include redness, burning, and dry skin.

What Is Duac?

Duac® (clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide) is a prescription combination medication approved for the treatment of acne. It combines two medications, clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide, in a gel that is applied directly to the skin.
(Click Duac Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Duac is made by Stiefel Laboratories, Inc.

How Does Duac Work?

Duac is a combination of benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. These two medicines 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:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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