What is azelaic acid gel, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Azelaic acid is a topical (applied to the skin) medication used for treating
acne. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown. Azelaic acid may work as an
antibacterial agent that blocks protein synthesis and therefore growth of
Propionibacterium acnes and other bacteria on the surface of the skin that are
associated with the development of acne. It may also inhibit follicular
keratinization, which prevents development of acne lesions. The FDA approved
azelaic acid in September 1995.
- References: FDA prescribing information
What brand names are available for azelaic acid gel?
Is azelaic acid gel available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for azelaic acid gel?
What are the uses for azelaic acid gel?
What are the side effects of azelaic acid gel?
- Common side effects include:
Other side effects include:
Other less common side effects include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Possible serious side effects include:
- Facial burning
- Iridocyclitis after accidental exposure to the eyes
- Worsening of asthma, dyspnea, wheezing
What is the dosage for azelaic acid gel?
A thin layer of azelaic acid should be applied and massaged into the affected
areas of the face every 12 hours.
Which drugs or supplements interact with azelaic acid gel?
There are no drug interactions listed for this azelaic
Is azelaic acid gel safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
- The safety azelaic acid has not been evaluated. It is not
known whether azelaic acid is excreted in human milk. However, laboratory
experiments suggest that the small amount of azelaic acid that is absorbed into
the body may be excreted in human milk at very low concentrations that may not
What else should I know about azelaic acid gel?
What preparations of azelaic acid gel are available?
Gel, Foam, Kit: 15%. Cream: 20%
How should I keep azelaic acid gel stored?
Store azelaic acid between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).