Adapalene (On the skin)
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to adapalene.
How to Use This Medicine
Swab, Lotion, Solution, Cream, Gel/Jelly
- Your doctor will tell you how much to use and how often. Using more of this medicine than your doctor ordered may cause red, peeling, or irritated skin.
- The medicine is usually applied at night before going to bed.
- Use this medicine on your skin only. You should not use it on open wounds, scrapes, or wind burned or sunburned skin.
- Before using the medicine, wash your skin with mild soap, rinse well with warm water, and gently dry.
- Put a thin layer of the medicine on the area you are treating. Do not put it in or near your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.
If a dose is missed:
- Use the medicine as soon as possible unless it is almost time for your next dose.
- Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
- Do not apply two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- You should not use medicated cosmetics or cover-ups, abrasive or medicated soaps or cleansers, products with alcohol, spice, or lime in them, hair removal products, or anything that might dry your skin unless your doctor tells you to.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have been using other acne medicines before you start using adapalene. You may need to wait a few days after you stop using the other medicine before you start treatments with adapalene.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you are sensitive to sunlight or have eczema (a severe skin condition) or a sunburn.
- This medicine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Try to avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, protect your skin with clothing and a strong sunscreen. You should not use a sunlamp or tanning booths.
- Cold temperatures or wind may also cause skin irritation while you are using this medicine.
- Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before using this medicine.
- At first, your acne may seem to get worse before it gets better. Keep using the medicine. In about 8 to 12 weeks your acne should start to clear up.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Blistering or crusting skin
- Severe skin redness or swelling
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild burning or stinging
- Itching, scaling, or dry skin
- Sensitivity to sunlight, wind, or cold
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013