Benzamycin (erythromycin 3%-benzoyl peroxide 5% topical gel)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.

Approval Status:

Approved November 2000

Specific Treatments:

Acne vulgaris

Therapeutic Areas

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General Information

Benzamycin is a combination of two active ingredients, benzoyl peroxide and erythromycin, which has proven effective in stopping acne-causing bacteria and reducing acne infection. Erythromycin is an antibiotic produced from a strain of Saccharopolyspora erythraea, whereas benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial and keratolytic agent (causes the break down of keratin).

The term "acne vulgaris" refers to the more common form of acne, consisting of non-inflammatory and mildly inflammatory lesions. The more severe form of acne is characterized by the presence of nodules. Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, making it the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring, which can be upsetting for people who suffer from the disorder.

Side Effects

Adverse reactions reported occasionally or associated with the use of Benzamycin Topical Gel include the following:

  • Dryness
  • Urticarial reaction (hives, itching)
  • Peeling
  • Burning sensation
  • Inflammation of the face, eyes, and nose
  • Skin discoloration
  • Oiliness
  • Tenderness of the skin

Mechanism of Action

Erythromycin inhibits protein synthesis in susceptible organisms by reversibly binding to 50 S ribosomal subunits, thereby inhibiting translocation of aminoacyl transfer-RNA and inhibiting polypeptide synthesis. Antagonism has been demonstrated in vitro between erythromycin, lincomycin, chloramphenicol, and clindamycin.

The exact mechanism by which erythromcyin reduces lesions of acne vulgaris is not fully known; however, the effect appears to be due in part to the antibacterial activity of the drug.

Benzoyl peroxide has a keratolytic and desquamative effect which may also contribute to its efficacy. Benzoyl peroxide has been shown to be absorbed by the skin where it is converted to benzoic acid. (from Benzamycin Prescribing Information,

Additional Information

For additional information on Benzamycin, please visit the web site of Dermik Laboratories.