Compare Cleocin vs. Finacea

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Cleocin (clindamycin)

Prescription only

Finacea (azelaic acid)

Prescription only
Treats acne.

Cleocin (clindamycin) is proven to be effective at treating acne when combined with another acne medicine and is available in a variety of formulations.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 115 reviewsforCleocin
Treats rosacea.

Finacea (azelaic acid) helps treat raised spots and pimple-like bumps that come from rosacea, but only provides slight redness improvement. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about the redness from rosacea.

Upsides
  • Available in generic.
  • Comes in different formulations (gel, solution, lotion, foam) to fit your preferences.
  • Works well for the kind of acne that causes large, red, and swollen pimples.
  • Comes in both a gel and foam formulation.
  • Studies show Finacea (azelaic acid) is effective at reducing raised spots and pimple-like bumps in mild to moderate rosacea.
  • Is as effective as alternative medicines.
Downsides
  • Foam formulation can cause headaches.
  • You will likely have to use another acne medicine along with Cleocin (clindamycin) since it is not as effective by itself.
  • Is only preferred for mild to moderate acne. If you have severe acne your doctor will most likely prescribe an oral medication.
  • If you only have comedonal acne (small skin-colored bumps on the skin) without any red, swollen pimples, your doctor may give you an alternative medicine.
  • Only available as a prescription.
  • More expensive than alternative medicines. A generic option is not available. Your doctor may have you try a less expensive alternative medicine first.
  • May not be the best option if you are looking to improve redness from rosacea.
  • Causes more skin irritation than alternative medicines. Speak to your doctor if you already have very sensitive skin. An alternative medicine may be better for you.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Gel
  • Foam
  • Solution
  • Lotion
  • Gel, foam
Price
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Reviews
115 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Dryness
    23%
  • Oiliness/Oily skin
    18%
  • Redness
    16%
  • Burning
    11%
  • Burning/Itching
    11%
  • Peeling
    11%
  • Itching
    11%
  • Burning where applied
    6%
  • Headache
    3%
See more detailed side effects
4possible side effects
  • Burning/Stinging/Tingling
    28%
  • Itching
    11%
  • Scaling/Dry skin/Very dry skin
    8%
  • Redness/Irritation
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Severe diarrhea and stomach cramps
    • Using Cleocin (clindamycin) for a long time
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Allergic reactions
  • Loss of skin color
  • Skin irritation
  • Worsening of asthma
  • Eye and mouth irritation
See more detailed risks and warnings