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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016 Jun;30(6):966-73. doi: 10.1111/jdv.13541. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

A multicentre, randomized, single-blind, parallel-group study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of benzoyl peroxide 3%/clindamycin 1% with azelaic acid 20% in the topical treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Hautarztpraxis Mahlow, Mahlow, Germany.
GlaxoSmithKline Germany, Munich, Germany.



Mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris is treated with a range of mono- and combination therapies; however, clinical evidence is still required to optimize treatment recommendations.


To compare the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a combination of benzoyl peroxide 3% and clindamycin 1% (BPO + CLN) with azelaic acid 20% (AzA) for the topical treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.


This was a randomized, assessor-blinded, parallel-group, multicentre study conducted in Germany. Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acne vulgaris, aged 12-45 years, were randomized 1 : 1 to once-daily BPO + CLN gel or twice-daily AzA cream for up to 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was the percentage change in inflammatory lesions from baseline at Week 4. Secondary endpoints included total and inflammatory lesion counts and tolerability assessments. For selected secondary endpoints, inductive statistical analysis was performed post hoc. Patient safety was assessed by adverse event (AE) monitoring.


Efficacy was assessed in the modified intent-to-treat (mITT) population [patients using ≥1 dose of study medication (ITT), plus baseline and ≥1 post-baseline lesion count (n = 215)]. There was a statistically significant difference in the primary endpoint, with a median decrease of -52.6% for BPO + CLN (n = 107) vs.-38.8% for AzA (n = 108; P = 0.0004). There was also a greater difference in secondary lesion endpoints at Week 12, with a median decrease in inflammatory lesions of -78.8% and -65.3% and total lesions of -69.0% and -53.9% with BPO + CLN and AzA, respectively (both P < 0.0001). Tolerability was acceptable for both treatments. Overall, 55.6% (BPO + CLN) and 69.7% (AzA) of patients reported treatment-emergent AEs, and 15.7% and 35.8% of patients experienced application site reactions with BPO + CLN (24 events; 17 patients) and AzA (60 events; 39 patients) treatment, respectively (ITT population).


BPO + CLN demonstrated greater efficacy than AzA in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris and has a positive tolerability and safety profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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