Differin Gel (Adapalene) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Differin Gel
Differin Gel is a retinoid used to treat severe acne. This medicine helps the skin cells renew faster. It is also effective in reducing inflammation and swelling. The generic name of this drug is Adapalene.
Differin Gel is meant to be administered topically and is not meant for oral, intravenous, or intravaginal use. This drug is not an acne-prevention medicine and does not prevent or stop future acne breakouts. It should be used only, and as quickly as possible, after an acne outbreak occurs.
Side Effects for Differin Gel
During the first 15-30 days of treatment, you may experience the following mild side effects: dryness, itching, skin redness, mild burning, or scaling. Some patients may experience all of the above symptoms, while others may experience only a few of them. You should consult your doctor if any of the above symptoms persist even after a month into the treatment.
Some patients who buy Differin Gel may experience the following unlikely, but serious side effects: red eye and watering, skin discoloration, eyelid swelling, or severely red/irritated skin. Contact your doctor as soon as any of the above symptoms occur.
This topical gel is not expected to trigger an allergic reaction. With that said, you should stop your medication and seek emergency medical help if you experience any of the following: hives, swelling, wheezing, shortness of breath, or breathing difficulty.
You may experience side effects that are not included above, as this is not a complete list of side effects. The patient information leaflet that you receive when you buy Differin Gel should contain the complete list of side effects and other useful information. Before you start using Adapalene, you should go through this important leaflet.
To ensure that Differin Gel is safe for you, keep the following things in mind – (1)tell your doctor if you are allergic to Adapalene or other ingredients used in this formulation, (2) inform your doctor about your medical history, especially if you have eczema, (3) consult your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or nursing an infant, (4) ensure that this topical gel does not get into the eyes, as it may cause eye swelling, redness, and/or irritation, (5) do not cover the area where you have applied Differin Gel, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, (6) before using any cosmetics over the treated skin area, ask your doctor if it is safe to apply them, (7) consult your doctor before performing any cosmetic procedures on the treated skin, (8) seek your doctor’s permission before administering this topical gel on children below 12 years, and (9) while you are using Differin Gel, take adequate precautions while going out in the sun, as this gel may increase your sensitivity to direct sunlight.
Differin Gel Dosage
The dosage of this medicine varies from patient to patient. Depending on the severity of acne, your doctor will prescribe the right starting dose for you. Later, based on your recovery, your doctor may increase your dosage. The usual dosage is to apply Differin gel once daily at bedtime.
Apart from some topical creams, other medicines or cosmetic products are not expected to interact with this medicine. To ensure Differin Gel is safe for you, inform your doctor about any prescription-based, over-the-counter, herbal medicines, or dietary supplements that you are taking.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.