Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.

Differin (Galderma Australia)
0.1% gel in 30 g tubes

Indication: acne
Adapalene is similar to the retinoids. It binds to a retinoic acid receptor and modulates keratinisation and the differentiation of cells.

The gel can be used by patients with comedonal, papular orpustular acne. It is applied once daily, at bedtime, after the skin is washed. Clinical improvement is evident in one to two months.

Adapalene 0.1% gel is reported to be as effective as 0.025% tretinoin gel.1 As this strength of tretinoin gel is not marketed in Australia, it is not clear how adapalene compares with the available 0.05% tretinoin creams.

The gel can irritate the skin causing the patients to complain of pruritis, stinging and scaling. No systemic reactions have occurred, but phototoxicity is a potential problem. Adapalene should not be used by patients with eczema. As the drug could

affect fetal development, it should not be used by women who are pregnant or are likely to become pregnant during treatment.


  1. Verschoore M, Langner A, Wolska H, Jablonska S, Czernielewski J, SchaeferH. Efficacy and safety of CD 271 alcoholic gels in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1991;124:368-71.