Comparison of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin plus clindamycin, and the combination of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin plus clindamycin in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a randomized, blinded study

J Drugs Dermatol. 2005 Sep-Oct;4(5):611-8.


In the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris, the combination of an antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide provides enhanced efficacy over the individual agents, with the potential to decrease the emergence of resistant strains of P. acnes. To evaluate treatment regimens combining the daily use of a clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gel, a tretinoin gel, and a clindamycin gel, the current randomized, evaluator-blind study was conducted. Results demonstrate that once-daily administration of clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gel (combination formulation) was as effective as clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide gel + tretinoin gel + clindamycin gel. Both of these regimens provided greater efficacy than tretinoin + clindamycin. Treatment with clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide demonstrated a significant benefit over other treatments at Week 2, highlighting its rapid onset of action. All regimens were safe and generally well tolerated, with less severe peeling seen in patients who received clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide. In conclusion, the regimens that included clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide were more effective than tretinoin + clindamycin in the treatment of acne vulgaris, with no clinical advantage of adding tretinoin + clindamycin to once-daily clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzoyl Peroxide / administration & dosage
  • Benzoyl Peroxide / adverse effects
  • Benzoyl Peroxide / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Clindamycin / administration & dosage
  • Clindamycin / adverse effects
  • Clindamycin / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Keratolytic Agents / adverse effects
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Skin / pathology
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Tretinoin / adverse effects
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Clindamycin
  • Tretinoin
  • Benzoyl Peroxide