Generic name: Adapalene [ a-DAP-a-leen ]
Brand names: Differin, Differin
Drug class: Topical acne agents
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.
Uses of Adapalene:
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Adapalene?
- If you are allergic to adapalene; any part of adapalene; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take adapalene with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Adapalene?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take adapalene. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Skin may look worse before it looks better.
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Some weather conditions may irritate the skin. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not wax the affected skin. This may irritate the skin.
- Use of other skin products while using adapalene may cause more irritation.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- It may take a few months to see the full effect.
- This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If adapalene is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
- Do not give adapalene to a child younger than 12 years old without first checking with the doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
How is this medicine (Adapalene) best taken?
Use adapalene as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take adapalene by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- If you get adapalene in any of these areas, rinse well with water.
- Do not put on cuts, scrapes, eczema, or damaged skin.
- Do not put on sunburned skin.
- Some products are to be used at bedtime. For some products it does not matter. Check with the pharmacist about how to use adapalene.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
- Put the cap back on after you are done using your dose.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
What are some other side effects of Adapalene?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- It is common to have skin irritation with adapalene. These reactions may include burning, dry skin, itching, peeling, redness, and scaling. Call your doctor if you have skin irritation that is severe, bothers you, or does not go away.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Adapalene?
- Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
- Protect from heat.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about adapalene, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Frequently asked questions
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