Duac Once Daily Gel
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Duac Once Daily Gel – 15 Facts You Must Know

Acne is a common skin condition characterised by the presence of blackheads or whiteheads and/or inflamed pimples. Acne has an impact on adolescents and contributes to physical, intellectual, and emotional changes (Revol et al., 2015). Topical drugs are considered a first-line treatment in the management of mild to moderate acne. The choice of skin preparation in the treatment of acne includes a topical retinoid, a topical antibiotic, and azelaic acid 20%. Furthermore, it is recommended that topical antibiotics are always used in combination with benzoyl peroxide. Duac Once Daily gel represents this combination. Here are 15 facts about Duac product and its use in the treatment of acne.

1. Duac Once Daily Gel contains two active ingredients:

  • Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • Clindamycin is an antibiotic used in Duac’s formulation to prevent bacteria growth. Benzoyl Peroxide is a chemical that has antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory actions (Tanghetti, 2008). Additionally, benzoyl peroxide has keratolytic properties by peeling away the dead skin (GSK, 2019).

2. Duac Once Daily Gel is a prescription-only medication (POM)

  • POM medicines need to be prescribed by GP or another qualified prescriber.

3. Duac gel is licensed for individuals aged 12 years and older.

4. Duac Once Daily Gel is available in two different formulations:

  • 1% clindamycin & 3% benzoyl peroxide (1% and 3%)
  • 1% clindamycin & 5% benzoyl peroxide (1% and 5%)

5. Duac gel is available in two tube sizes: 30g and 60g.

6. Duac Once Daily gel: storage

Although stored in the fridge before dispensing, Duac gel can be kept at room temperature when used by patients (do no store above 25°C)

7. When to apply Duac?

  • Duac is applied ONCE daily usually in the evening

8. Duac Once Daily gel should be applied thinly

Wash washed and dry your face before application. Wash your hands after application. For detailed skin application, read the Duac_Once_Daily_Gel_Patient_Leaflet.

9. Duac excessive application

Duac gel should not be applied more than once a day. Excessive use increases the chances of side effects such as skin irritation and does not improve treatment.

10. Treatment duration with Duac should not exceed 12 weeks.

11. Most common side effects (1 in 10) associated with the use of Duac Gel include:

  • Skin burning
  • Itching of the skin
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Peeling of the skin

12. How long does it take for Duac to work?

It takes just two weeks for Duac to work (Langner et al., 2007) Response to the treatment however may vary between individuals. 

13. Duac Once Daily Gel is effective

Different clinical studies confirm Duac’s effectiveness in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. Clinical trials with Duac (1% & 3%) suggest Duac is superior (better) to Clindamycin 1% gel and Benzoyl Peroxide 3% gel (eMC, 2019). Another study indicated Duac Once Daily Gel is more effective in the treatment of mild to moderate acne than Azelaic Acid 20% (study sponsored by Stiefel, a GSK company – producer of Duac ((Schaller et al., 2016) and as effective as Zineryt lotion (Langner et al., 2007).

14. How to get Duac Once Daily Gel?

Duac is Prescription only medication. It can be prescribed by a GP or other qualified prescriber. Optionally Duac can be purchased online from registered pharmacies. This means you need to answer a questionnaire which is reviewed by a doctor who issues a private prescription for the product.

15. What is the price for Duac Once Daily Gel?

Duac Once Daily gel can be prescribed on the NHS. When Duac is prescribed on NHS prescription; one would expect to pay a standard prescription charge, unless exempt from prescription charges. The cost of a private prescription will vary between pharmacies. You would be expected to pay from around £17 per 30g tube and around £34 for 60g tube (based on NHS price list). If online service is used, you may be asked additionally to pay a private prescription charge, but this will depend on which private service is used.  

To conclude, Duac gel offers an effective treatment of mild-moderate acne. Other options exist for patients who do not respond to topical treatments. Hormonal treatment with contraceptive pill such as Dianette is reserved for this group of patients. You can read more about hormonal treatment in a separate post: Dianette for Acne – review of use and side effects. 

Duac Once Daily Gel: FAQ

How long should you use Duac Once Daily gel?

Duac Once Daily Gel should not be applied continuously for longer than 12 weeks.

How do you store Duac Once Daily Gel?

Before dispensing by the pharmacy Duac Once Daily Gel is stored in the fridge (2°C-8°C). After dispensing, when used by patients Duac Once Daily Gel can be stored at room temperature. Do not store above 25°C.

Can you use Duac Once Daily gel twice a day?

Duac Once Daily Gel should only be used once daily. Excessive application may lead to skin irritation with no effect on the treatment outcome.

Is Duac a retinoid?

Duac Once Daily Gel is not a retinoid. Duac Once Daily gel contains benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin (an antibiotic).

Do I have to keep Duac in the fridge?

Duac Once Daily gel needs to be kept in the fridge prior to dispensing. After the dispensing Duac Once Daily gel can be kept at room temperature.


  • eMC (2019). Duac Once Daily 10 mg/g + 30 mg/g Gel: Summary Product Characteristics. Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3238/smpc Accessed on 01/2020
  • GSK (2019). Duac – Mode of Action (video). Available at: https://gskpro.com/en-gb/products/Duac/videos/moa/ Accessed on 01/01/2020
  • Langner, A., Sheehan‐Dare, R. and Layton, A. (2007), A randomized, single‐blind comparison of topical clindamycin + benzoyl peroxide (Duac®) and erythromycin + zinc acetate (Zineryt®) in the treatment of mild to moderate facial acne vulgaris. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 21: 311-319. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.01884.x Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.01884.x Accessed on 01/01/2020
  • Revol, O., Milliez, N. and Gerard, D. (2015), Psychological impact of acne on 21st‐century adolescents: decoding for better care. Br J Dermatol, 172: 52-58. doi:10.1111/bjd.13749 Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.13749 Accessed o 01/01/2020
  • Schaller, M., Sebastian, M., Ress, C., Seidel, D. and Hennig, M. (2016), 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. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 30: 966-973. doi:10.1111/jdv.13541 Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13541 Accessed on 01/01/2020
  • Tanghetti E (2008). The evolution of benzoyl peroxide therapy. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19202772 Accessed on 01/01/2020

I am a community pharmacist working in UK. I blog about drugs, health and pharmacy.

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