Duac gel is an anti-acne treatment containing 1% of an antibiotic called clindamycin and 3% of a peeling agent called benzoyl peroxide.

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Prescription fees

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Duac gel product information

Duac Gel is an anti-acne preparation that contains the antibiotic clindamycin and the peeling agent benzoyl peroxide. It is used for treating mild to moderate acne. Clindamycin stops growth of bacteria associated with acne on your skin, while benzoyl peroxide helps to unblock pores and reduce whiteheads and blackheads. In combination, they help to fight acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Duac can be useful when acne is not responding to antibiotics or peeling agents on their own.

How to use

Apply a thin film of Duac once daily to entire area affected with acne, usually in the evenings. For your face only, one fingertip (from the tip of your finger to the first crease) is usually enough. For face and back, use two and a half fingertips in total. Remember to wash your hands after application.

If you experience dryness and peeling of the skin, you may follow with an oil-free moisturiser. 

If you use it with other topical acne preparation, you may need to apply them at different times (for example, use of retinoid treatment in the mornings and Duac in the evenings). Check with a doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Treatment duration

As with all acne treatments, Duac may take some time to work. It may take 2 to 5 weeks for an improvement to be seen and it is important that you apply it consistently. 

It is recommended to use Duac for maximum 12 weeks, although it may be prescribed by skin specialists for a longer term. Long term use of Duac might reduce efficiency of the medication as resistance might be developed towards the antibiotic.

Side effects of Duac Gel

The most common side effect is mild dryness, redness and soreness of the skin, particularly in the first few weeks of treatment. Not everyone gets them. It can usually be solved if Duac is applied less frequently.

Although unlikely, it is important to note that treatment should be stopped immediately and emergency advice should be seeked if you experience:

  • signs of allergic reaction such as swelling of face or lips, difficulty breathing or a rash.
  • severe diarrhoea or stomach cramp
  • severe burning of the skin

Duac can also make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. You are advised to avoid the sunlight or use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor.


Pregnant and breast feeding women are not advised to use Duac. If you need to use it, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Use of Duac may stain your hair. Also, try not to let Duac from coming into contact with fabrics such as clothing and towels as Duac can bleach these materials. 

Duac can only be used topically on the skin. Be careful and do not allow it to come into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth.

Do not use the gel on broken skin, such as cuts and grazes.

Do not use Duac with other antibiotic or acne preparation, unless advised by a doctor.

Other Acne Treatments

Other topical acne treatment should not be used with Duac unless advised by a doctor. This is because they might decrease the efficiency of Duac.

If topical treatment is proved ineffective after continuous use, you may need an oral antibiotic such as Lymecycline. Your doctor will be able to advise you on that.

A range of acne treatments are available at Medicinesbymailbox pharmacy.

Patient information leaflet

The 'patient information leaflet' supplied with the gel should be read before used.