Name: Adapalene

Which drugs or supplements interact with adapalene?

Excessive skin irritation may occur if adapalene is used with other acne medications.

Uses of Adapalene

  • It is used to treat pimples (acne).

Adapalene Description

Adapalene Gel, containing Adapalene, is used for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. Each gram of Adapalene Gel contains Adapalene 0.1% (1 mg) in a vehicle consisting of carbomer homopolymer type C, disodium edetate, methylparaben, poloxamer 182, propylene glycol, purified water and sodium hydroxide. May contain hydrochloric acid to adjust pH.

The chemical name of Adapalene is 6-[3-(1-adamantyl)-4-methoxyphenyl]-2-naphthoic acid. Adapalene is a white to off-white powder which is soluble in tetrahydrofuran, sparingly soluble in ethanol, and practically insoluble in water. Adapalene is represented by the following structural formula:

C28H28O3 Molecular Weight: 412.52


Adapalene gel is intended for cutaneous use only. If the medication is applied excessively, no more rapid or better results will be obtained and marked redness, peeling, or discomfort may occur. The acute oral toxicity of Adapalene gel 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.

Adapalene Dosage and Administration

Adapalene Gel should be applied once a day to affected areas after washing in the evening before retiring. A thin film of the gel should be applied, avoiding eyes, lips, and mucous membranes.

During the early weeks of therapy, an apparent exacerbation of acne may occur. This is due to the action of the medication on previously unseen lesions and should not be considered a reason to discontinue therapy. Therapeutic results should be noticed after eight to twelve weeks of treatment.


(a DAP a leen)

Pharmacologic Category

  • Acne Products
  • Topical Skin Product, Acne

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience redness, dry skin, scaling, or burning. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe skin irritation (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.


Data not available

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number


Last Revision Date



Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Dosing & Uses

Dosage Forms & Strengths

topical cream

  • 0.1% (Rx)

topical gel

  • 0.1% (OTC)
  • 0.3% (Rx)

topical lotion

  • 0.1% (Rx)

Acne Vulgaris

Apply thin film to entire face and other affected areas of the skin qPM after washing gently with nonmedicated soap

Dosage Forms & Strengths

topical cream

  • 0.1% (Rx)

topical gel

  • 0.1% (OTC)
  • 0.3% (Rx)

topical lotion

  • 0.1% (Rx)

Acne Vulgaris


Topical Administration

Apply small (pea-sized) amount sparingly to entire face after cleansing with nonmedicated cleanser

For topical use only; not for ophthalmic, oral, or intravaginal use

Avoid mucous membranes, eyes, and lips

Patient Handout

Print without Office InfoPrint with Office Info