How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Azelaic acid belongs to the class of medications called antirosacea agents. It is used to treat the redness, bumps (papules), and pimples (pustules) that occur as symptoms of rosacea. Azelaic acid reduces the production of substances in the skin that cause inflammation, redness, and pimples.
Regular use of this medication is necessary to get the best possible results. It may take 4 to 8 weeks to see a significant effect.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each gram of aqueous gel contains 0.15 g of azelaic acid (15% w/w). Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzoic acid (as preservative), disodium edetate, lecithin, medium-chain triglycerides, polyacrylic acid, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, purified water and sodium hydroxide to adjust pH.
How should I use this medication?
Apply a thin layer of gel to the affected area and gently massage it into the skin twice a day, in the morning and evening. Approximately one finger-tip length (about 2.5 cm) of gel should be enough to cover the entire area. Avoid contact with the eyes.
Before using the gel, wash the affected area with a soapless cleanser or a very mild soap. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel. After applying the gel, wash your hands. Do not cover the affected area. Leave the skin exposed to the air. If you use cosmetics, you may apply them once this medication has dried.
You should notice significant improvement in your symptoms in about 4 to 8 weeks. If your symptoms do not improve within this time period, call your doctor.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
To get the best effect from this medication, it must be used regularly.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to azelaic acid, propylene glycol, or any ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- burning, stinging, tingling, or itching at the application area
- dry skin
- reddening skin
- scaling skin
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- allergic skin reactions (redness, itching, hives)
- changes in skin colour
- hair follicle infections
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Diet: Some foods, such as spicy foods, hot drinks and foods, and alcohol may cause symptoms of rosacea to worsen. It is advisable to avoid these triggers when you have rosacea.
Skin irritation: Ingredients in azelaic acid gel may cause irritation to the skin and soft tissues. Avoid contact with the eyes and mouth when using this medication. If you experience increased redness or severe irritation, talk to your doctor about reducing the number of times you apply the gel each day.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication may pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using azelaic acid, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take.
Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Finacea