What Differin is used for and how to use it
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Differin - Consumer Medicine Information

Manufacture: Galderma Laboratories
Country: Canada
Condition: Acne
Class: Dermatological agents
Form: Cream, gel, liniment or balm, lotion, ointment, etc
Ingredients: Adapalene, Carbomer 934P (Carbomer 940 or Carbomer 941), cyclomethicone, edetate disodium, glycerin, methyl gluceth 20 sesquistearate, methyl glucose sesquistearate, methylparaben, phenoxyethanol, propylparaben, squalane, trolamine, and purified water, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid, medium chain triglycerides, poloxamer 124 (poloxamer 182 ), polyoxyl-6-polyoxyl-32 palmitostearate, PPG-12 / SMDI copolymer, stearyl alcohol.

About This Medication

What the Medication is Used For

  • treating acne in patients 12 years of age and older.

What it Does

DIFFERIN and DIFFERIN XP is believed to work by modifying the action of skin cells to produce fewer pimples.

When it Should Not Be Used

  • You are allergic to adapalene or any of the other ingredients (see What the Important Nonmedicinal Ingredients Are) or components of the packaging. Check with your doctor if you know you are allergic to certain ingredients or package components to ensure that you can use DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP.
  • If you have eczema or very irritated skin (such as seborrheic dermatitis)

What the Medicinal Ingredient Is

adapalene

What the Nonmedicinal Ingredients Are

DIFFERIN 0.1% w/w Cream

Carbomer 934P, cyclomethicone, edetate disodium, glycerin, methyl gluceth 20 sesquistearate, methyl glucose sesquistearate, methylparaben, phenoxyethanol, propylparaben, squalane, trolamine, and purified water.

DIFFERIN 0.1% w/w Gel

Carbomer 940, edetate disodium, methylparaben, poloxamer 182, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment, and purified water.

DIFFERIN 0.1% w/w Lotion

Carbomer 941, disodium edetate, medium chain triglycerides, methylparaben, phenoxyethanol, poloxamer 124, polyoxyl-6-polyoxyl-32 palmitostearate, PPG-12 / SMDI copolymer, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium hydroxide, stearyl alcohol, and purified water.

DIFFERIN XP 0.3% w/w Gel

Carbomer 940, edetate disodium, methylparaben, poloxamer 124, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment, and purified water.

For a full listing of nonmedicinal ingredients see Part I of the product monograph.

What Dosage Forms it Comes In

DIFFERIN 0.1% w/w Cream in a 45 g tube
DIFFERIN 0.1% w/w Gel in a 45 g tube
DIFFERIN 0.1% w/w Lotion in a 60 mL and 120 mL bottle with pump.
DIFFERIN XP 0.3% w/w Gel in a 15 or 45 g tube.

Warnings and Precautions

If you are pregnant, you should discontinue use of DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP. If you are a female of childbearing years, you should use DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP only after consulting your doctor about contraceptive counselling.

BEFORE you use DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • You are breast feeding or intending to breast feed. It is not known if this drug is passed into breast milk.
  • You are using any other acne medications. DIFFERIN and DIFFERIN XP should not be used with other acne medications unless your doctor recommends them.
  • You are using any other prescription or OTC (over the counter) drugs or herbal remedies.

Many of the medicines used to treat acne can make a person more likely to sunburn. So, exposure to too much sunlight, including sunlamps, should be avoided while using DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP. If you must be out in the sun, use a good sunscreen product (SPF 15 or higher) designed not to clog pores (non-comedogenic) and protective clothing over the treated areas.

Do not use "waxing" as a way of removing unwanted hair in the areas where you will be applying DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP, as this may increase your skin sensitivity.

Avoid using oily makeup or creams, or products that make your skin dry or peel, or cause irritation such as abrasive soaps or cleansers, astringents, alcohol or those containing spices or limes. These may make your acne worse.

Interactions With This Medication

Drug-Drug Interactions

As DIFFERIN and DIFFERIN XP may cause local irritation, it is possible that use of abrasive cleansers, strong drying agents, or irritant products at the same time may produce increased irritation. You should take particular care when using preparations containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid with DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP. If these preparations have been used, you should wait to start therapy with DIFFERIN until the effects of such preparations have lessened.

On the advice of your doctor, other topical anti-acne treatments (e.g., erythromycin topical solution, clindamycin phosphate topical solution 1% or benzoyl peroxide products in concentrations up to 10%) may be used in the morning when DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP is used at night.

Drug-Herb Interactions

Interactions with herbal products have not been established.

Proper Use of This Medication

Usual dose

Use DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP once a day at night before you go to bed. You should first wash your face with a gentle cleanser and blot it dry with a soft towel -- do not rub your face. Then, apply a thin film of DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP to the areas where you have acne. Usually, four pea-sized amounts of DIFFERIN cream or gel, or DIFFERIN XP should be enough to cover your entire face For DIFFERIN lotion, dispense a nickel size amount (3 - 4 actuations of the pump) to cover your entire face. DO NOT SPOT APPLY - cover the entire affected area.

Keep DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP away from your eyes, lips and the corners of your nose. If you get any in your eyes, flush your eyes with clean water right away. This medication should not be applied to cuts, abrasions, eczematous (skin with a red, itchy rash) or sunburned skin.

Use only the amount your doctor recommends. Using more DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP will not make it work better or faster.

Your acne should improve in 4 -8 weeks and you should see more improvement as you continue to use DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP.

Overdose

DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP is meant to be applied in a thin film only on the areas of your skin where you have acne. If too much medication is applied, you will not get faster or better results. Instead, you may see a lot of redness or peeling, and your skin may feel hot or burning.

A 45 gram tube of DIFFERIN XP contains a total of 135 mg of adapalene. Even if someone eats the contents of a full tube of DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP, there is not enough active ingredient to cause serious toxicity. However, you should still contact your poison control centre, and if you are a woman of childbearing age, have a pregnancy test done.

In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, it is not necessary to make up the missed dose. Just wait until the next evening and use DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP as usual. Apply the same amount as you usually would. Do not apply extra.

Side Effects and What to Do About Them

Do not be discouraged if DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP causes some redness, burning or peeling when you first start to use it (2-4 weeks). This happens when your skin is adjusting to DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP's action of unplugging clogged pores. If these problems continue to happen or if they are getting worse, talk to your doctor. He/she may suggest that you use a moisturizer, or he/she may recommend a change in your dose, or in how often you use the medication. DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP may also cause skin irritation, dry skin, or may make you more likely to sunburn.

If DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP gets in your eye, rinse it out promptly with lots of water. Contact with your eye may cause swelling, conjunctivitis and eye irritation. If the irritation persists, talk to your doctor.

Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them

Symptom / effect Talk with your
doctor or
pharmacist
Stop taking
drug and
call your
doctor or
pharmacist
Only if
severe
In all
cases
Uncommon Skin becomes
very dry, red,
swollen, or
blistered

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

How to Store It

DIFFERIN or DIFFERIN XP should be stored at room temperature (15 to 30°C). Protect from freezing. Keep out of reach of children.

Reporting Suspected Side Effects

You can report any suspected adverse reactions associated with the use of health products to the Canada Vigilance Program by one of the following 3 ways:

  • Report online at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/medeffect
  • Call toll-free at 1-866-234-2345
  • Complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and:
    • Fax toll-free to 1-866-678-6789, or
    • Mail to: Canada Vigilance Program

      Health Canada
      Postal Locator 0701D
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1A 0K9

    Postage paid labels, Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and the adverse reaction reporting guidelines are available on the MedEffectTM Canada Web site at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/medeffect.

NOTE: Should you require information related to the management of side effects, contact your health professional. The Canada Vigilance Program does not provide medical advice.

More Information

This document plus the full product monograph, prepared for health professionals can be found by contacting the sponsor, Galderma Canada Inc., at: 1-800-467-2081 or visit our website at www.galderma.ca.