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Is switching retinoids a sound strategy for the treatment of acne vulgaris?

Author(s): Gold LS, Colon LE, Johnson LA, Gottschalk RW

Affiliation(s): Henry Ford Medical Center, Detroit, MI, USA.

Publication date & source: 2008-06, J Drugs Dermatol., 7(6 Suppl):s11-7.

Topical retinoids, such as adapalene gel and tazarotene cream, are considered first-line therapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Dermatologists often initiate adapalene gel treatment first, due to its good tolerability, followed by a switch to tazarotene cream in an effort to improve or hasten efficacy outcomes. The goal of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of 2 daily regimens for the treatment of acne: adapalene 0.1% gel for 12 weeks and adapalene 0.1% gel for 6 weeks followed by tazarotene 0.1% cream for 6 weeks. The primary efficacy outcome was the percent of reduction in total lesion counts posttreatment. Subjects ages 12 to 35 years with acne vulgaris were selected to participate in a 12-week, randomized, evaluator-blind study of once-daily therapy with adapalene 0.1% gel (n=101) or "switch therapy," adapalene 0.1% gel followed by tazarotene 0.1% cream (n=100). Adapalene-treated subjects achieved similar percent reductions in total lesion counts at week 12 compared to subjects receiving switch therapy, demonstrating the noninferiority of adapalene gel treatment (median difference: -3.57%; lower confidence limit [LCL]: -11.25). Adapalene gel was associated with fewer reports of cutaneous irritation, particularly for scaling and stinging/burning, and fewer treatment-related adverse events compared to switch therapy. The results of this study indicate that daily therapy with adapalene 0.1% gel for 12 weeks was noninferior to switch therapy.

Page last updated: 2008-08-10

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