Generic Name: Adapalene Brand Name(s): Adapalene.


What is adapalene used for?

Adapalene is commonly used to treat pimples (acne).

How should I take adapalene?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Do not take adapalene by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).

If you get this medicine in any of these areas, rinse well with water.

Do not put on cuts, scrapes, eczema, or damaged skin.

Do not put on sunburned skin.

Wash your hands before and after use.

Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.

Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.

How do I store adapalene?

Adapalene is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store adapalene in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of adapalene that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush adapalene down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using adapalene?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of adapalene or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Tell all of your health care providers that you take adapalene. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.

Skin may look worse before it looks better.

You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.

Some weather conditions may irritate the skin. Talk with the doctor.

Do not wax the affected skin. This may irritate the skin.

Use of other skin products while using this medicine may cause more irritation.

Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.

It may take a few months to see the full effect.

This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If adapalene is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years old without first checking with the doctor.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using adapalene while you are pregnant.

Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using adapalene during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking adapalene. Adapalene is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from adapalene?

Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad irritation where adapalene is used.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with adapalene?

Adapalene may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with adapalene?

Adapalene may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with adapalene?

Adapalene may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using adapalene.


What is the dose of adapalene for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Acne

Usual dose: Apply a thin layer to the affected area once a day at bedtime

What is the dose of adapalene for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acne

12 years and older:

Usual dose: Apply a thin layer to the affected area once a day at bedtime

How is adapalene available?

Adapalene is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of adapalene, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: September 14, 2017 | Last Modified: September 14, 2017

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