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Proactiv Side Effects

Common Proactiv Side Effects


The most commonly reported Proactiv side effects (click to view or check a box to report):

Swelling Face (95)
Urticaria (66)
Dyspnoea (61)
Pruritus (50)
Erythema (50)
Eye Swelling (45)
Hypersensitivity (36)
Rash (28)
Swelling (23)
Burning Sensation (23)
Lip Swelling (21)
Throat Tightness (20)
Local Swelling (14)
Pharyngeal Oedema (11)
Dry Skin (10)
Blister (6)
Swollen Tongue (6)
Rash Erythematous (6)
Paraesthesia (5)
Pyrexia (5)

➢ More



If you or someone in your family has experienced a serious side effect to a health product, you are encouraged to report the experience to your health care professional (e.g. physician, pharmacist). You could also complete a copy of the side effect reporting form or report your side effect to FDA.

Side effects reports are analyzed to discover potential health product safety signals. Some important reactions may take an extremely long time to develop or occur infrequently. Continued monitoring of adverse reactions is thus essential to maintain a comprehensive safety and effectiveness profile of health products.

Proactiv Side Effects Reported to FDA

The following Proactiv reports list potential signals of serious risks and new safety information that were identified using the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).
FAERS is a database that contains information on adverse event and medication errors reports submitted to FDA by healthcare professionals (such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses and others), consumers (such as patients, family members, layers and others) and manufacturers.


The appearance of Proactiv on this list does not mean that FDA has concluded that the drug has the listed risk. It means that FDA has identified a potential safety issue, but it does not mean that FDA has found a causal relationship between the drug and the listed risk.
Erythema, Pruritus, Swelling
This is a report of a 22-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US, suffering from the following symptoms/conditions: acne, who was treated with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Once Daily Dermal, start time: Feb 08, 2014), combined with:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
and developed a serious reaction and side effect(s). The consumer presented with:
  • Erythema
  • Pruritus
  • Swelling
which developed after the beginning of treatment. This case can indicate the possible existence of increased vulnerability to Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment in female patients, resulting in erythema side effect.

Rash, Lip Swelling
This report suggests a potential Proactiv Renewing Cleanser Rash, Lip Swelling side effect(s) that can have serious consequences. A 14-year-old male patient (weight: NA) from US was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: acne and used Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Dermal) starting Sep 05, 2013. Soon after starting Proactiv Renewing Cleanser the patient began experiencing various side effects, including:
  • Rash
  • Lip Swelling
Drugs used concurrently:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Dermal)
  • Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash (Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment (Dermal)
  • Proactiv Refining Mask (Dermal)
Although Proactiv Renewing Cleanser demonstrated significant improvements in a number of clinically relevant cases, troublesome symptoms, such as rash, may still occur.

Swelling Face, Urticaria
This Swelling Face, Urticaria problem was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from US. A 31-year-old female patient (weight: NA) was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: acne. On Dec 01, 2013 this consumer started treatment with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Dermal). The following drugs were being taken at the same time:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Dermal)
  • Fish Oil
When commencing Proactiv Renewing Cleanser, the patient experienced the following unwanted symptoms/side effects:
  • Swelling Face
  • Urticaria
Although all drugs are carefully tested before they are licensed for use, they carry side effect risks. Some side effects, such as swelling face, may become evident only after a product is in use by the general population.

Erythema, Swelling, Rash
This is a report of a 18-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US. The patient developed the following symptoms/conditions: acne and was treated with Proactiv + Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage: NA) starting Oct 28, 2013. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Proactiv Plus Pore Targeting Treatment
  • Proactiv + Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
  • Proactiv + Eye Brightening Serum
  • Proactiv+mark Fading Pads
Soon after that, the consumer experienced the following side effects:
  • Erythema
  • Swelling
  • Rash
This opens a possibility that Proactiv + Skin Smoothing Exfoliator treatment could cause the above reactions, including erythema, and some female subjects may be more susceptible.


Swelling Face, Eye Swelling, Hypersensitivity
A 24-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US with the following symptoms/conditions: acne started Proactiv+ Skin Exfoliator treatment (dosage: Twice Daily Dermal) on Jan 03, 2014. Soon after starting Proactiv+ Skin Exfoliator treatment, the subject experienced various side effects, including:
  • Swelling Face
  • Eye Swelling
  • Hypersensitivity
Concurrently used drugs:
  • Pore Targeting Treatment
  • Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Mark Fading Pads (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Cosmetics (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Skin Purifying Mask (Twice Daily Dermal)
This finding indicates that some female patients could be more vulnerable to Proactiv+ Skin Exfoliator.

Hypersensitivity
A 28-year-old female patient from US (weight: NA) experienced symptoms, such as: NA and was treated with Proactiv Acne Cleanser(dosage: NA). The treatment was initiated on Jan 09, 2014. After that a consumer reported the following side effect(s):
  • Hypersensitivity
Concurrently used drugs, which potentially could have contributed to side effect(s) or affected Proactiv Acne Cleanser efficacy: NA.

Swelling Face, Eye Swelling, Dyspnoea, Throat Tightness, Erythema, Pruritus
In this report, Proactiv Repairing Treatment was administered for the following condition: acne.A 23-year-old female consumer from US (weight: NA) started Proactiv Repairing Treatment treatment (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) on Dec 04, 2013.Sometime after starting the treatment, the patient complained of the following side effect(s):
  • Swelling Face
  • Eye Swelling
  • Dyspnoea
  • Throat Tightness
  • Erythema
  • Pruritus
A possible interaction with other drugs could have contributed to this reaction:
  • Birth Control
Establishing a causal relationship between a specific drug and consumer's side effects is complex, but it is possible that in this report Proactiv Repairing Treatment treatment could be related to the listed above side effect(s).

Pruritus, Swelling Face, Eye Swelling, Throat Irritation
This is a report of the following Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator side effect(s):
  • Pruritus
  • Swelling Face
  • Eye Swelling
  • Throat Irritation
A 19-year-old female patient from US (weight: NA) presented with the following condition: acne and received a treatment with Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage: Twice Daily Dermal) starting: Dec 17, 2013.The following concurrently used drugs could have generated interactions:
  • Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment (Twice Daily Dermal)
This report suggests that a Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator treatment could be associated with the listed above side effect(s).

Swelling, Pruritus, Eye Pruritus, Blister
This Proactiv Renewing Cleanser report was submitted by a 19-year-old male consumer from US (weight: NA). The patient was diagnosed with: acne and Proactiv Renewing Cleanser was administered (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) starting: Dec 06, 2013. The consumer developed a set of symptoms:
  • Swelling
  • Pruritus
  • Eye Pruritus
  • Blister
Other drugs used simultaneously:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Daily Oiil Control (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Spf 15 Moisturizer (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Refining Mask (Once Daily Dermal)
Those unexpected symptoms could be linked to a Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment, however establishing a potential drug-safety problem requires a more detailed clinical analysis.

Urticaria, Dyspnoea, Respiratory Arrest
This is a report of a possible correlation between Proactiv Renewing Cleanser use and the following symptoms/side effect(s):
  • Urticaria
  • Dyspnoea
  • Respiratory Arrest
which could contribute to an assessment of Proactiv Renewing Cleanser risk profile.A 33-year-old female consumer from US (weight: NA) was suffering from acne and was treated with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) starting Jun 13, 2013.Other concurrent medications:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Spf 15 Moisturizer (Once Daily Dermal)


Swelling Face, Dyspnoea
A 15-year-old male patient from US (weight: NA) presented with the following symptoms: acne and after a treatment with Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage: Once Dermal) experienced the following side effect(s):
  • Swelling Face
  • Dyspnoea
The treatment was started on Nov 21, 2013. Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator was used in combination with the following drugs:
  • Daily Multivitamin
The patient was hospitalized.This report could alert potential Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator consumers.

Swelling Face, Eye Swelling, Skin Haemorrhage, Skin Fissures
In this report, a 20-year-old female patient from US (weight: NA) was affected by a possible Proactiv Renewing Cleanser side effect.The patient was diagnosed with acne. After a treatment with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Twice Daily Dermal, start date: Sep 26, 2013), the patient experienced the following side effect(s):
  • Swelling Face
  • Eye Swelling
  • Skin Haemorrhage
  • Skin Fissures
The following simultaneously used drugs could have led to this reaction:
  • Proactive Repairing Treatment (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Spf 15 Moisturizer (Twice Daily Dermal)
The patient was hospitalized.The findings here stress that side effects should be taken into consideration when evaluating a Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment.

Swelling Face, Rash Erythematous, Urticaria
This is a report of a 27-year-old female patient from US (weight: NA), who used Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Dermal) for a treatment of acne. After starting a treatment on Oct 07, 2013, the patient experienced the following side effect(s):
  • Swelling Face
  • Rash Erythematous
  • Urticaria
The following drugs could possibly have interacted with the Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control (Dermal)
  • Proactiv Blackhead Dissolving Gel (Dermal)
Taken together, these observations suggest that a Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment could be related to side effect(s), such as Swelling Face, Rash Erythematous, Urticaria.

Eye Swelling, Rash Erythematous, Hypersensitivity, Rash Pruritic
This eye swelling side effect was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from US. A 27-year-old female patient (weight:NA) experienced the following symptoms/conditions: acne. The patient was prescribed Proactiv Plus Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage: Once Daily Dermal), which was started on Nov 11, 2013. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Pore Targeting Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Plus Complexion Perfecting Hydrator (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Skin Purifying Mask (Once Daily Dermal)
When starting to take Proactiv Plus Skin Smoothing Exfoliator the consumer reported the following symptoms:
  • Eye Swelling
  • Rash Erythematous
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Rash Pruritic
These side effects may potentially be related to Proactiv Plus Skin Smoothing Exfoliator.

Skin Irritation, Cough, Respiratory Disorder
This is a Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator side effect report of a 35-year-old male patient (weight:NA) from US, suffering from the following symptoms/conditions: acne, who was treated with Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage:Dermal Twice Daily, start time: Nov 11, 2013), combined with:
  • Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment (Dermal Twice Daily)
  • Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator (Dermal Twice Daily)
  • Proactiv+ Mark Fading Pads (Dermal Twice Daily)
, and developed a serious reaction and a skin irritation side effect. The patient presented with:
  • Skin Irritation
  • Cough
  • Respiratory Disorder
which developed after the beginning of treatment. The patient was hospitalized. This side effect report can indicate a possible existence of increased vulnerability to Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator treatment in male patients suffering from acne, resulting in skin irritation.

Erythema, Urticaria, Pruritus, Burning Sensation
This report suggests a potential Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator erythema side effect(s) that can have serious consequences. A 12-year-old female patient from US (weight:NA) was diagnosed with the following health condition(s): acne and used Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage: Twice Daily Dermal) starting Nov 07, 2013. Soon after starting Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator the patient began experiencing various side effects, including:
  • Erythema
  • Urticaria
  • Pruritus
  • Burning Sensation
Drugs used concurrently:
  • Proactiv Pore Cleansing System (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator (Once Daily Dermal)
Although Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator demonstrated significant improvements in a number of clinically relevant cases, troublesome symptoms, such as erythema, may still occur.

Pruritus, Rash Erythematous, Purpura, Swelling Face, Burning Sensation
This pruritus problem was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from US. A 54-year-old female patient (weight: NA) was diagnosed with the following medical condition(s): acne.On Oct 25, 2013 a consumer started treatment with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Once Daily Dermal). The following drugs/medications were being taken at the same time:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Spf 15 Moisturizer (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Daily Multivitamins
When commencing Proactiv Renewing Cleanser, the patient experienced the following unwanted symptoms /side effects:
  • Pruritus
  • Rash Erythematous
  • Purpura
  • Swelling Face
  • Burning Sensation
The patient was hospitalized. Although all drugs are carefully tested before they are licensed for use, they carry potential side effect risks. Some side effects, such as pruritus, may become evident only after a product is in use by the general population.

Erythema, Swelling, Urticaria
This is a Proactiv Plus Skin Smoothing Exfoliator side effect report of a 25-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US. The patient developed the following symptoms/conditions: acne and was treated with Proactiv Plus Skin Smoothing Exfoliator (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) starting Nov 05, 2013. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Proactiv Plus Pore Targeting Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Plus Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
  • Daily Multivitamins
Soon after that, the consumer experienced the following of symptoms:
  • Erythema
  • Swelling
  • Urticaria
This opens a possibility that Proactiv Plus Skin Smoothing Exfoliator could cause erythema and that some female patients may be more susceptible.

Rash Pruritic, Rash Erythematous, Dyspnoea, Swelling
A 15-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US with the following symptoms: acne started Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) on Jul 13, 2013. Soon after starting Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment, the consumer experienced several side effects, including:
  • Rash Pruritic
  • Rash Erythematous
  • Dyspnoea
  • Swelling
. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Urinary Antibiotic
This finding indicates that some patients can be more vulnerable to developing Proactiv Renewing Cleanser side effects, such as rash pruritic.

Rash Pruritic
This rash pruritic side effect was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from PR. A 16-year-old male patient (weight:NA) experienced the following symptoms/conditions: acne.The patient was prescribed Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Twice Daily Dermal), which was started on Sep 03, 2013. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash (Twice Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment
.When starting to take Proactiv Renewing Cleanser the consumer reported symptoms, such as:
  • Rash Pruritic
These side effects may potentially be related to Proactiv Renewing Cleanser.

Rash, Swelling Face, Sunburn
This is a report of a 12-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US, suffering from the following symptoms/conditions: acne, who was treated with Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Once Daily Dermal, start time: Jul 06, 2013), combined with:
  • Proactiv Solution Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Solution Deep Cleansing Wash (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Solution Blackhead Dissolving Gel (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Solutions Advanced Blemish Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Vitaclear Vitamin Supplement
and developed a serious reaction and side effect(s). The consumer presented with:
  • Rash
  • Swelling Face
  • Sunburn
which developed after the beginning of treatment. This case can indicate the possible existence of increased vulnerability to Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser treatment in female patients, resulting in rash side effect.

Swelling Face, Eye Swelling
This report suggests a potential Proactiv Renewing Cleanser Swelling Face, Eye Swelling side effect(s) that can have serious consequences. A 13-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: acne and used Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) starting Sep 25, 2013. Soon after starting Proactiv Renewing Cleanser the patient began experiencing various side effects, including:
  • Swelling Face
  • Eye Swelling
Drugs used concurrently:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Multivitamins
Although Proactiv Renewing Cleanser demonstrated significant improvements in a number of clinically relevant cases, troublesome symptoms, such as swelling face, may still occur.

Rash, Swelling Face, Infection, Scratch, Pneumonia, Bacteraemia
This Rash, Swelling Face, Infection, Scratch, Pneumonia, Bacteraemia problem was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from US. A 40-year-old male patient (weight: NA) was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: acne. On Oct 02, 2013 this consumer started treatment with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Twice Daily Dermal). The following drugs were being taken at the same time:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Twice Daily Dermal)
When commencing Proactiv Renewing Cleanser, the patient experienced the following unwanted symptoms/side effects:
  • Rash
  • Swelling Face
  • Infection
  • Scratch
  • Pneumonia
  • Bacteraemia
The patient was hospitalized.Although all drugs are carefully tested before they are licensed for use, they carry side effect risks. Some side effects, such as rash, may become evident only after a product is in use by the general population.

Swelling Face, Pruritus, Erythema, Dyspnoea, Urticaria, Panic Attack
This is a report of a 31-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US. The patient developed the following symptoms/conditions: acne and was treated with Proactiv Renewing Cleanser (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) starting Jul 09, 2013. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
Soon after that, the consumer experienced the following side effects:
  • Swelling Face
  • Pruritus
  • Erythema
  • Dyspnoea
  • Urticaria
  • Panic Attack
This opens a possibility that Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment could cause the above reactions, including swelling face, and some female subjects may be more susceptible.

Swelling Face, Urticaria
A 15-year-old male patient (weight: NA) from US with the following symptoms/conditions: acne started Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment (dosage: Once Daily Dermal) on 201310. Soon after starting Proactiv Renewing Cleanser treatment, the subject experienced various side effects, including:
  • Swelling Face
  • Urticaria
Concurrently used drugs:
  • Proactiv Repairing Treatment (Oce Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment (Once Daily Dermal)
  • Proactiv Blackhead Dissolving Gel (Once Daily Dermal)
This finding indicates that some male patients could be more vulnerable to Proactiv Renewing Cleanser.

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Top 10 Proactiv Side Effects for Women

Women Side EffectsReports
Swelling Face 82
Urticaria 55
Dyspnoea 51
Pruritus 46
Erythema 42
Eye Swelling 42
Hypersensitivity 26
Rash 23
Swelling 20
Burning Sensation 19

Top 10 Proactiv Side Effects for Men

Men Side EffectsReports
Swelling Face 13
Urticaria 11
Dyspnoea 10
Hypersensitivity 9
Erythema 8
Dizziness 5
Burning Sensation 4
Pruritus 4
Rash 4
Eye Swelling 3

Keep Track of Side Effects

Note Your Observations

It is really important to keep of your symptoms, right from the time you start a new medicine. You can do it any way you prefer: in a notebook, in a computer file or using our online tool. You should also note down any other medicines you are taking at the same time, because there could be an interaction between these medicines.

Why Your Notes are Important

Your notes could be helpful in several ways:

  • You can use them to remind you of details that may alert your health care professional(s) to a problem
  • You will have a record to refer to in the future, in case you are ever prescribed the same medicine again

  • Log Form

    You can use the following log form to write down important information, like the date and time you experienced a side effect and your symptoms, how strong the symptoms were, and any other medicines you were using.

    Medicine Name and Dosage:
    Side Effects Scale Date & Time Other Medicine(s) or Treatment(s)
    Scale: 1 = very mild to 10 = very bad

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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    Proactiv Safety Alerts, Active Ingredients, Usage Information

    NDC11118-1209
    TypeHUMAN OTC DRUG
    Proprietary NameProactive Solution Cleaning Bar
    NameSALICYLIC ACID
    Dosage FormSOAP
    RouteTOPICAL
    On market since20100901
    LabelerBradford Soap Works, Inc.
    Active Ingredient(s)SALICYLIC ACID
    Strength(s)1
    Unit(s)g/100g
    Pharma Class

    More About Proactiv

    Side Effects reported to FDA: 209

    Proactiv safety alerts: No

    Reported hospitalizations: 19

    Latest Proactiv clinical trials