Azelaic Acid

Azelaic Acid Brand Names

Azelex | Finacea | Finacea Plus | Finevin

What is Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is a topical anti-acne agent.

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring dietary constituent (whole grain and animal products) and can be formed endogenously from longer-chain dicarboxylic acids, metabolism of oleic acid, and omega-oxidation of monocarboxylic acids.

Azelaic acid is used as a treatment for acne vulgaris and is one of the leading treatments for this condition in Europe where it has been marketed as a 20% cream since 1989 by Schering.

The drug is also effective for reducing the number of inflammatory pustules and papules associated with rosacea.

Reduction in erythema may occur; however, efficacy has not been established for erythema associated with rosacea without papules and pustules.

Azelaic acid has been administered orally and intravenously; however, only a topical formulation is marketed in the United States.

The drug was originally FDA approved as a 20% cream for the treatment of acne vulgaris in September 1995; several brand name creams are now available.

A 15% topical gel and foam were FDA-approved for the treatment of rosacea in December 2002 and July 2015, respectively


  1. acne rosacea
  2. acne vulgaris
  3. lentigo maligna
  4. malignant melanoma
  5. melasma
  6. Propionibacterium acnes
  7. Staphylococcus epidermidis

Side Effects

  1. angioedema
  2. contact dermatitis
  3. dyspnea
  4. edema
  5. erythema
  6. hypertrichosis
  7. ocular inflammation
  8. paresthesias
  9. pruritus
  10. rash
  11. skin hypopigmentation
  12. skin irritation
  13. urticaria
  14. wheezing
  15. xerosis

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • asthma
  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • deterioration of asthma
  • herpes infection
  • infants
  • neonates
  • occlusive dressing
  • ocular exposure
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Azelaic Acid products.


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