Compare Cleocin vs. Differin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Cleocin (clindamycin)

Prescription only

Differin (adapalene)

Prescription or OTC
Treats acne.

Cleocin (clindamycin) is proven to be effective at treating acne when combined with another acne medicine and is available in a variety of formulations.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 115 reviewsforCleocin
Treats acne.

Differin (adapalene) is commonly used for treating acne, but, it can cause skin irritation.

Upsides
  • Available in generic.
  • Comes in different formulations (gel, solution, lotion, foam) to fit your preferences.
  • Works well for the kind of acne that causes large, red, and swollen pimples.
  • Differin (adapalene) is a good option for the treatment of acne.
  • It is available as a cheaper, generic medication.
  • It only has to be applied to the skin once a day at bedtime.
  • The 0.1% gel formulation is available over the counter, without a prescription.
  • Differin (adapalene) is generally well tolerated, with few side effects.
Downsides
  • Foam formulation can cause headaches.
  • You will likely have to use another acne medicine along with Cleocin (clindamycin) since it is not as effective by itself.
  • Is only preferred for mild to moderate acne. If you have severe acne your doctor will most likely prescribe an oral medication.
  • If you only have comedonal acne (small skin-colored bumps on the skin) without any red, swollen pimples, your doctor may give you an alternative medicine.
  • Your skin may look worse before it starts looking better.
  • Differin (adapalene) can take up to 8 to 12 week to start working.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Gel
  • Foam
  • Solution
  • Lotion
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Lotion
Price
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Reviews
115 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Dryness
    23%
  • Oiliness/Oily skin
    18%
  • Redness
    16%
  • Burning
    11%
  • Burning/Itching
    11%
  • Peeling
    11%
  • Itching
    11%
  • Burning where applied
    6%
  • Headache
    3%
See more detailed side effects
5possible side effects
  • Skin dryness
    42%
  • Skin redness
    38%
  • Skin scaling
    35%
  • Persistent burning and stinging
    24%
  • Persistent itching
    21%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Severe diarrhea and stomach cramps
    • Using Cleocin (clindamycin) for a long time
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Local skin reactions
    • Soaps and cleansers with skin-drying effects
    • Products with high concentraions of alcohol, astringents, spices, or limes.
  • UV and sunlight exposure
  • Severe allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings