Compare Differin vs. minocycline

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

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Differin (adapalene)

Prescription or OTC

Solodyn (minocycline)

Prescription only
Treats acne.

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

Treats bacterial infections.

Solodyn (minocycline) is effective in treating a variety of bacterial infections such as acne, but it can cause permanent tooth staining, especially in an unborn baby and those who are age 8 or younger.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 17 reviewsforminocycline
Upsides
  • 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.
  • May be taken with or without food.
  • Solodyn (minocycline) is used in combination with other medications to treat severe acne.
  • Available as a generic form.
  • Solodyn (minocycline) is less likely to cause sunburn than other tetracycline antibiotics.
  • Can be a good alternative treatment for certain infections when penicillin can't be used.
Downsides
  • Your skin may look worse before it starts looking better.
  • Differin (adapalene) can take up to 8 to 12 week to start working.
  • It can make birth control pills less effective, so barrier methods of birth control like condoms or diaphragms should be used while on Solodyn (minocycline).
  • Can permanently discolor your teeth, mouth, gums and skin. This is more common for pregnant women in their last half of pregnancy, infants, and children 8 and younger.
  • Your skin may be more sensitive to the sun and your chances of getting sunburned are higher.
  • May cause dizziness and affect your driving ability.
  • Not a good option for pregnant women since it can slow down the bone development of a fetus (unborn baby).
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Lotion
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
17 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
18%
saidit'sa big hassle

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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
The Solodyn (minocycline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Yellowing of teeth
    • Age 8 or younger
    • Women in their last half of pregnancy
    • Infants
    • Using Solodyn (minocycline) for a long period of time
  • Decreased effectiveness of oral birth control pills
    • Using oral birth control pills
  • New infection
    • Using Solodyn (minocycline) for a long period of time
  • Sunburn
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Women who can potentially or want to become pregnant
    • Pregnant women
See more detailed risks and warnings