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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

No serious side effects are associated with adapalene.
Common

Redness, dryness, and scaling of skin; itching or burning immediately after application.
Less Common

Skin irritation, sunburn, flareups of acne. These usually occur during the first month of treatment and then decrease in severity and frequency.
Adapalene


Drug Class:
Acne drug

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No


Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Topical gel

Why Prescribed
To treat acne.

How It Works
Its exact mechanism of action is unclear, but adapalene appears to bind with specific receptors in skin cells in a way that encourages the formation of normal skin cells and discourages the formation of acne lesions.

Range and Frequency
After washing affected areas, apply a thin film of adapalene once a day to affected skin areas before bedtime.

Onset of Effect
Becomes noticeable after eight to 12 weeks. During the first few weeks of therapy, acne may actually get worse before it begins to get better. This is because the drug is affecting previously unseen lesions, and it should not be considered a reason to stop using the medication.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Adapalene can be used without regard to diet.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Apply it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop using the drug should be made by your doctor.

Prolonged Use
No problems are expected with prolonged use.

Over 60
No special precautions are required.

Driving and Hazardous Work
No special precautions are required.

Alcohol
No special precautions are required.

Pregnancy
In some tests, large doses of adapalene caused minor birth defects (an excess number of ribs) in animals, and theoretically could cause major birth defects. Human tests have not been done. Generally, adapalene should not be used during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Breast Feeding
Adapalene may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
The safety and effectiveness of adapalene in children under the age of 12 has not been established.

Special Concerns
Anyone with a history of allergy to adapalene or any ingredients in the gel should not use this medication. Acne may appear to worsen temporarily during the first weeks of adapalene therapy; cosmetic improvement should become apparent after eight to 12 weeks. The medicine should be kept away from the eyes, lips, nostrils, and mucous membranes. It should not be applied to cuts, abrasions, scaly or flaky skin, or patches of sunburned skin. The extremes of winter weather, including high winds and cold temperatures, can cause extra skin irritation and dryness. In sunny conditions, protect the treated area with sunscreen products (with a minimum sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15) and adequate clothing; keep exposure to sunlight to a minimum. If you get a sunburn, adapalene therapy should be stopped or delayed until the sunburned areas return to normal. Use of skin products containing alcohol, astringents, spices, or lime should be avoided.

Overdose Symptoms
Excessive application of adapalene may lead to redness, pain, and peeling of the skin.

What to Do
Discontinue the drug and consult your doctor. If accidentally ingested, seek emergency medical aid right away.

Drug Interactions
Some drugs may interact with adapalene. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking other products that can irritate the skin, such as medicated or abrasive soaps and cleansers and products containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid. They generally should not be used during adapalene therapy unless otherwise recommended by your doctor.

Food Interactions
No food interactions have been documented.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when using adapalene. Consult your doctor if you have any other skin condition.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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