adapalene, Differin

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GENERIC NAME: adapalene

BRAND NAME: Differin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Adapalene is a gel used for the treatment of acne vulgaris (pimples). The exact mechanism of action is not known. Scientists believe that when adapalene is applied to the skin, it affects the growth of skin cells and thereby reduces the formation of pimples.




STORAGE: Store at room temperature, 20-25 C (68-77 F)

PRESCRIBED FOR: The topical treatment of acne vulgaris.

DOSING: Wash and dry the affected areas. Apply a thin layer of gel to the affected areas once daily at bedtime. Avoid the eyes, lips and nose. There may be a worsening of acne during the first few weeks of therapy because adapalene promotes the growth of pimples that have begun to form but are not yet visible. Therefore, treatment should not be stopped if acne appears to be worsening. Beneficial effects should be seen by 8 to 12 weeks.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Excessive skin irritation may occur if adapalene is used with other acne medications.

PREGNANCY: Only very small amounts of adapalene are absorbed through skin and into the body. However, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether adapalene is excreted in breast milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of adapalene are irritation, redness, dryness, and itching of the skin as well as flares of acne. Most of these side effects lessen with continued use; however, if they are bothersome, decreasing the frequency with which adapalene is applied may reduce these side effects.

Adapalene may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sun and lead to sunburn. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided, and sunscreens should be used over the treated areas if exposure to the sun cannot be avoided. Adapalene should not be applied to sunburned skin, cuts, eyes, nose, or lips.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 12/14/2010

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