Compare Differin vs. Tetracycline

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

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Differin (adapalene)

Prescription or OTC
Treats acne.

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

Kills bacteria and treats acne.

Acnecycline (Tetracycline) treats many different types of infections and is cheap, but dosing and drug interactions may be somewhat of a hassle.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 153 reviewsforTetracycline
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.
  • Effectively treats a wide range of conditions and is used for many different types of infections.
  • Effective for acne.
  • Cheap.
  • Good choice for people on kidney dialysis who need an antibiotic. Tetracycline isn't removed by dialysis, so the dose doesn't need to be changed.
Downsides
  • Your skin may look worse before it starts looking better.
  • Differin (adapalene) can take up to 8 to 12 week to start working.
  • For most infections you'll need to take it 4 times a day (or every 6 hours).
  • It needs to be spaced out from food, milk, vitamins, and some medications.
  • Can cause tongue darkening, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Tetracycline makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and ultraviolet light. Wear sunblock and protective clothing, and don't go tanning.
  • Interacts with birth control and makes it less effective. Use a backup form of birth control if you don't want to get pregnant.
  • Not a good choice for children ages 8 and under. Tetracycline can cause permanent staining of teeth in babies and young children.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Lotion
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
153 reviews so far
45%
saidit'sworth it
29%
saiditworked well
16%
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 Acnecycline (Tetracycline) 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
  • Changes in teeth
    • Pregnancy
    • Age younger than 8 years
  • Reduced effectiveness of birth control pills
  • Decreased kidney function and kidney injury
    • Kidney disease
    • Taking Acnecycline (Tetracycline) past the expiration date
  • Sunburn
    • Exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Increased pressure in the brain
    • Taking with Acnecycline (Tetracycline) with other medicines that can cause this effect (e.g. Accutane)
  • Liver injury
    • Kidney disease
    • Large doses of Acnecycline (Tetracycline)
  • Development of more serious infections
    • Long-term use of Acnecycline (Tetracycline)
See more detailed risks and warnings