Drugs Home > Adapalene

Adapalene is a prescription acne drug that is available in the form of a gel, lotion, or cream. Typically, the medication is applied to the affected areas once a day, just before bedtime. Although most people tolerate it well, side effects can include redness, burning, and dry, scaly skin. This medication works by reducing inflammation and slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells.

What Is Adapalene?

Adapalene (Differin®) is a prescription acne medication. It comes in the form of a cream, gel, or lotion.
(Click What Is Adapalene Used For? for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

What Are the Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, adapalene may cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
The most common side effects of this medication include:
  • Dry skin
  • A burning or stinging sensation
  • Scaling
  • Redness.
(Click Side Effects of Adapalene to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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