Differin - General Information

Differin is a topical retinoid primarily used in the treatment of acne and is also used (off-label) to treat keratosis pilaris as well as other skin conditions. It is currently marketed by Galderma under the trade names Differin in some countries, and Adaferin in India. [Wikipedia]


Pharmacology of Differin

Differin is a chemically stable retinoid-like compound. Biochemical and pharmacological profile studies have demonstrated that adapalene is a modulator of cellular differentiation, keratinization, and inflammatory processes all of which represent important features in the pathology of acne vulgaris.


Differin for patients

Patients using DIFFERIN® (Adapalene) Cream should receive the following information and instructions:

  1. This medication is to be used only as directed by the physician.
  2. It is for external use only.
  3. Avoid contact with the eyes, lips, angles of the nose, and mucous membranes.
  4. Cleanse area with a mild or soapless cleanser before applying this medication.
  5. Moisturizers may be used if necessary; however, products containing alpha hydroxy or glycolic acids should be avoided.
  6. Exposure of the eye to this medication may result in reactions such as swelling, conjunctivitis, and eye irritation.
  7. This medication should not be applied to cuts, abrasions, eczematous or sunburned skin.
  8. Wax epilation should not be performed on treated skin due to the potential for skin erosions.
  9. During the early weeks of therapy, an apparent exacerbation of acne may occur. This is due to the action of this medication on previously unseen lesions and should not be considered a reason to discontinue therapy. Overall clinical benefit may be noticed after two weeks of therapy, but at least eight weeks are required to obtain consistent beneficial effects.


Differin Interactions

As DIFFERIN Gel has the potential to produce local irritation in some patients, concomitant use of other potentially irritating topical products (medicated or abrasive soaps and cleansers, soaps and cosmetics that have a strong drying effect, and products with high concentrations of alcohol, astringents, spices or lime) should be approached with caution. Particular caution should be exercised in using preparations containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid in combination with DIFFERIN Gel. If these preparations have been used it is advisable not to start therapy with DIFFERIN Gel until the effects of such preparations in the skin have subsided.


Differin Contraindications

DIFFERIN Gel should not be administered to individuals who are hypersensitive to adapalene or any of the components in the vehicle gel.


Additional information about Differin

Differin Indication: For the topical treatment of comedo, papular and pustular acne (acne vulgaris) of the face, chest or back.
Mechanism Of Action: Mechanistically, adapalene binds to specific retinoic acid nuclear receptors but does not bind to the cytosolic receptor protein. Although the exact mode of action of adapalene is unknown, it is suggested that topical adapalene may normalize the differentiation of follicular epithelial cells resulting in decreased microcomedone formation.
Drug Interactions: Not Available
Food Interactions: Not Available
Generic Name: Adapalene
Synonyms: Adapaleno [INN-Spanish]; Adapalenum [INN-Latin]
Drug Category: Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; Dermatologic Agents
Drug Type: Small Molecule; Approved

Other Brand Names containing Adapalene: Differin; Adaferin;
Absorption: Absorption of adapalene through human skin is low. Only trace amounts (<0.25 ng/mL) of parent substance have been found in the plasma of acne patients following chronic topical application of adapalene in controlled clinical trials
Toxicity (Overdose): The acute oral toxicity of adapalene in mice and rats is greater than 10 mL/kg. Chronic ingestion of the drug may lead to the same side effects as those associated with excessive oral intake of Vitamin A.
Protein Binding: Not Available
Biotransformation: Metabolized mainly by O-demethylation, hydroxylation and conjugation, and excretion is primarily by the biliary route.
Half Life: Not Available
Dosage Forms of Differin: Gel Topical
Cream Topical
Chemical IUPAC Name: 6-[3-(1-adamantyl)-4-methoxyphenyl]naphthalene-2-carboxylic acid
Chemical Formula: C28H28O3
Adapalene on Wikipedia:
Organisms Affected: Humans and other mammals