March 7, 2006

Differin safe, effective combo therapy for acne

By Martha Kerr

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - 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

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."