Differin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: adapalene topical (a DAP a leen)
Brand Names: Differin cream, gel, lotion

What is Differin?

Differin (adapalene) is a topical medicine (a medication that is applied to the surface of the skin) similar to vitamin A. It helps the skin to renew itself.

Differin is used to treat severe acne in people who are at least 12 years old. It works by decreasing acne formation.

Differin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Avoid getting Differin in your eyes, in the creases of your nose, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not use Differin on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Also avoid using this medication in wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using Differin.

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Do not use skin products that contain alpha hydroxy or glycolic acid while you are also using Differin.

Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime. Do not use other medication skin products unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Differin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Before using Differin

You should not use Differin if you are allergic to adapalene.

FDA pregnancy category C. Differin may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether adapalene passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Differin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I use Differin?

Use Differin exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects. Do not use this medication for longer than your doctor has prescribed.

Differin is usually applied once daily in the evening.

Wash your hands before applying Differin.

Clean your skin with a mild cleanser (not soap) before applying the medication. Pat the skin dry with a clean towel.

Apply the medication in a thin layer to the entire face or other affected skin areas. Do not apply any other skin products unless your doctor has told you to. Avoid application to the areas of skin around eyes, lips and mucous membranes.

Use this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you think it is not working. It may take weeks or months of use before you notice improvement in your skin. Your acne may get slightly worse for a short time when you first start using the medication. Call your doctor if skin irritation becomes severe or if your acne does not improve within 8 to 12 weeks.

Store Differin at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include skin redness, scaling, or irritation.

What should I avoid?

Avoid getting Differin in your eyes, in the creases of your nose, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not use Differin on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Also avoid using this medication in wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using Differin.

Do not use skin products that contain alpha hydroxy or glycolic acid while you are also using Differin.

Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime. Do not use other medication skin products unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Differin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Differin side effects

Stop using Differin and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

During your first 4 weeks of using Differin, your skin may be dry, red, or scaly. You may also feel some burning or stinging. Call your doctor if these side effects are severe.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as mild burning, warmth, stinging, tingling, itching, redness, or irritation.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Differin?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied Differin. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Differin.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.07. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:42:20 PM.

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