Drugs Home > Precautions and Warnings With Adapalene

Adapalene may not be suitable for everyone. In fact, you may not be able to use this medication safely if you have eczema or certain allergies. Adapalene's precautions and warnings also involve safety issues, such as protecting yourself from sun exposure while using the drug. To help ensure a safe treatment process, talk to your doctor about your medical history before beginning treatment.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using adapalene (Differin®) if you have:
  • Eczema
  • A sunburn
  • Any allergies, including allergies to medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Adapalene Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with this product include:
  • Avoid contact with the delicate skin around the eyes and mouth.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight (including artificial sunlight, such as sun lamps or tanning booths), as this medication increases your sensitivity to the sun. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about a sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin type (and that will not make your acne worse).
  • Although some skin irritation, redness, and burning are to be expected when you first start adapalene, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if extreme irritation occurs.
  • Generally, people with eczema should avoid this product, as this type of medication can cause severe skin irritation in people with eczema.
  • If you get a sunburn, stop using adapalene until your skin has recovered.
  • Any area of skin treated with adapalene should not be waxed, as this may cause skin damage.
  • Adapalene is unlikely to interact with medications, although some skin products could worsen irritation with adapalene (see Drug Interactions With Adapalene).
  • Adapalene is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Differin and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is unknown if adapalene passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding a child, check with your healthcare provider (or your child's healthcare provider) before using adapalene (see Differin and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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