May 25, 2017
Recommended Topic Related To:


"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Differin Gel 0.1% (adapalene), a once-daily topical gel for the over-the-counter (OTC) treatment of acne. Differin Gel 0.1% is approved for use in people 12 years of age and older.



Acanya Gel



Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.



Systemic absorption of clindamycin has been demonstrated following topical use of clindamycin. Diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and colitis (including pseudomembranous colitis) have been reported with the use of topical and systemic clindamycin. When significant diarrhea occurs, ACANYA Gel should be discontinued.

Severe colitis has occurred following oral and parenteral administration of clindamycin with an onset of up to several weeks following cessation of therapy. Antiperistaltic agents such as opiates and diphenoxylate with atropine may prolong and/or worsen severe colitis. Severe colitis may result in death.

Studies indicate toxin(s) produced by Clostridia is one primary cause of antibiotic-associated colitis. The colitis is usually characterized by severe persistent diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps and may be associated with the passage of blood and mucus. Stool cultures for Clostridium difficile and stool assay for C. difficile toxin may be helpful diagnostically.

Ultraviolet Light And Environmental Exposure

Minimize sun exposure including use of tanning beds or sun lamps following drug application [See Nonclinical Toxicology].

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).

  • Patients who develop allergic reactions such as severe swelling or shortness of breath should discontinue use and contact their physician immediately.
  • ACANYA Gel may cause irritation such as erythema, scaling, itching, or burning, especially when used in combination with other topical acne therapies.
  • Excessive or prolonged exposure to sunlight should be limited. To minimize exposure to sunlight, a hat or other clothing should be worn. Sunscreen may also be used.
  • ACANYA Gel may bleach hair or colored fabric.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and impairment of fertility testing of ACANYA Gel have not been performed.

Benzoyl peroxide has been shown to be a tumor promoter and progression agent in a number of animal studies. Benzoyl peroxide in acetone at doses of 5 and 10 mg administered topically twice per week for 20 weeks induced skin tumors in transgenic Tg.AC mice. The clinical significance of this is unknown.

Carcinogenicity studies have been conducted with a gel formulation containing 1% clindamycin and 5% benzoyl peroxide. In a 2-year dermal carcinogenicity study in mice, treatment with the gel formulation at doses of 900, 2700, and 15000 mg/kg/day (1.8, 5.4, and 30 times amount of clindamycin and 3.6, 10.8, and 60 times amount of benzoyl peroxide in the highest recommended adult human dose of 2.5 g ACANYA Gel based on mg/m², respectively) did not cause any increase in tumors. However, topical treatment with a different gel formulation containing 1% clindamycin and 5% benzoyl peroxide at doses of 100, 500, and 2000 mg/kg/day caused a dose-dependent increase in the incidence of keratoacanthoma at the treated skin site of male rats in a 2-year dermal carcinogenicity study in rats. In an oral (gavage) carcinogenicity study in rats, treatment with the gel formulation at doses of 300, 900 and 3000 mg/kg/day (1.2, 3.6, and 12 times amount of clindamycin and 2.4, 7.2, and 24 times amount of benzoyl peroxide in the highest recommended adult human dose of 2.5 g ACANYA Gel based on mg/m², respectively) for up to 97 weeks did not cause any increase in tumors. In a 52-week dermal photocarcinogenicity study in hairless mice, (40 weeks of treatment followed by 12 weeks of observation), the median time to onset of skin tumor formation decreased and the number of tumors per mouse increased relative to controls following chronic concurrent topical administration of the higher concentration benzoyl peroxide formulation (5000 and 10000 mg/kg/day, 5 days/week) and exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Clindamycin phosphate was not genotoxic in the human lymphocyte chromosome aberration assay. Benzoyl peroxide has been found to cause DNA strand breaks in a variety of mammalian cell types, to be mutagenic in S. typhimurium tests by some but not all investigators, and to cause sister chromatid exchanges in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

Fertility studies have not been performed with ACANYA Gel or benzoyl peroxide, but fertility and mating ability have been studied with clindamycin. Fertility studies in rats treated orally with up to 300 mg/kg/day of clindamycin (approximately 120 times the amount of clindamycin in the highest recommended adult human dose of 2.5 g ACANYA Gel, based on mg/m²) revealed no effects on fertility or mating ability.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled trials studies in pregnant women treated with ACANYA Gel. ACANYA Gel should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Animal reproductive/developmental toxicity studies have not been conducted with ACANYA Gel or benzoyl peroxide. Developmental toxicity studies of clindamycin performed in rats and mice using oral doses of up to 600 mg/kg/day (240 and 120 times amount of clindamycin in the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m², respectively) or subcutaneous doses of up to 200 mg/kg/day (80 and 40 times the amount of clindamycin in the highest recommended adult human dose based on mg/m², respectively) revealed no evidence of teratogenicity.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether clindamycin is excreted in human milk after topical application of ACANYA Gel. However, orally and parenterally administered clindamycin has been reported to appear in breast milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to use ACANYA Gel while nursing, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of ACANYA Gel in pediatric patients under the age of 12 have not been evaluated.

Geriatric Use

Clinical trials of ACANYA Gel did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/3/2017


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