Adapalene Topical

Reviewed on 8/2/2022

What Is Adapalene Topical and How Does It Work?

Adapalene Topical is a prescription medication used for treating severe acne in people who are at least 12 years old. 

  • Adapalene Topical is available under various brand names: Differin, Plixda

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Adapalene Topical?

Common side effects of Adapalene Topical include:

  • dry, red, or scaly skin;
  • a feeling of warmth and mild stinging or burning;
  • peeling skin; or
  • skin pain.

Serious side effects of Adapalene Topical include:

  • hives,
  • itching
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat,
  • skin redness, stinging, burning, or peeling after sun exposure.

Rare side effects of Adapalene Topical include:

  • none

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors;
  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms include fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in the chest; shortness of breath; sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out.

This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems that may occur because of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What Are Dosages of Adapalene Topical?

Adult  and pediatric dosage

Topical cream

  • 0.1 % (Rx)

Topical gel

  • 0.1 % (OTC)
  • 0.3 % (Rx)

Topical lotion

  • 0.1 % (Rx)

Acne Vulgaris

Adult and pediatric dosage

  • Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Using adapalene Topical in larger amounts than recommended will not make it work faster, and may cause unpleasant side effects.
  • Do not take it by mouth. Adapalene is for use only on the skin.
  • Adapalene Topical is usually applied once daily in the evening.
  • Wash your hands before applying for this medicine.
  • Clean your skin with a mild non-medicated skin cleanser before applying it to the medicine. Pat the skin dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply a thin layer to the entire face or other affected skin areas. Avoid applying the medicine to the creases of your nose, or on your lips.

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows: 

  • See “Dosages”

QUESTION

Acne is the result of an allergy. See Answer

What Other Drugs Interact with Adapalene Topical?

If your medical doctor is using this medicine to treat your pain, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Adapalene Topical has no noted severe interactions with any other drugs.
  • Adapalene Topical has no noted serious interactions with any other drugs.
  • Adapalene Topical has no noted moderate interactions with any other drugs.
  • Adapalene Topical has no noted minor interactions with any other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker for any drug interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all your products. Keep a list of all your medications with you and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Adapalene Topical?

Contraindications

  • Hypersensitivity to adapalene or any of its components

Effects of drug abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Adapalene Topical?”

Long-Term Effects

  • See “What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Adapalene Topical?”

Cautions

  • Avoid eyes, lips, and mucous membranes
  • For external use only
  • Minimize UV light exposure; use sunscreen and protective clothing
  • Extreme weather (e.g., wind, cold) may cause skin irritation
  • Adverse reaction risk is higher during the first month of treatment; generally subsides with the use
  • Do not apply product to abrasions or cuts or eczematous or sunburned skin
  • Skin irritation: Apply moisturizer, reduce application frequency, or discontinue
  • Do not wax the treated area or apply Topical products that may further irritate skin (eg, astringents, abrasive soaps, and cleansers, exfoliants, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid)
  • Discontinue immediately and consult a physician if any anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions occur

Pregnancy & Lactation

  • It is not known whether adapalene will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
  • Lactation
    • It is not known whether adapalene passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breastfeeding a baby.

SLIDESHOW

Skin Health: 15 Tips for Clear Skin See Slideshow
References
https://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-adapalene_topical/article_em.htm

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