Differin (adapalene gel 0.1%) used in combination with either topical or oral antibiotics is safe and effective for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe acne.
Results of a phase IV multicenter trial were presented in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. The 12-week study of the topical retinoid gel involved 1,979 patients and more than 400 practicing dermatologists.
The dermatologists were given free rein to add other retinoids, benzalkonium chloride and topical or oral antibiotics as needed to patients with hard-to-control acne.
Lead investigator Dr. John E. Wolf, Jr., of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, announced that Differin, as either add-on or first-line therapy, “dramatically improved outcome” in patients with moderate to moderately severe acne.
When combined with many different products, Differin yielded reliable improvements with excellent tolerability and patient satisfaction and can be regarded as an ideal topical retinoid preparation,” Wolf told the Academy.
“It improved all types of acne,” Wolf commented in an interview with Reuters Health.
The retinoid gel normalizes the over-accumulation of skin cells that plug the pores and keeps them clear. “Pores then begin to function normally again,” he explained. Differin not only helps prevent the formation of new acne, it also helps heal the acne that is already present. “It works by affecting the growth of cells and decreasing swelling and inflammation,” Wolf said.
Wolf said the primary finding is that the drug has an “excellent safety and tolerability profile” when used as first-line therapy or as an “add-on therapy.
Adherence was very good,” he added. “This is very important, since no medication works if it stays in the tube.”
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD