Recent Advances Regarding the Therapeutic Potential of Adapalene

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020 Aug 28;13(9):217. doi: 10.3390/ph13090217.


Adapalene (ADP) is a representative of the third retinoids generation and successfully used in first-line acne treatment. ADP binds to retinoic acid nuclear receptors. The comedolytic, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and immunomodulatory are the known ADP effects. Its safety profile is an advantage over other retinoids. ADP recently was found to be effective in the treatment of several dermatological diseases and photoaging besides the utility in the treatment of acne vulgaris. New biological effects of adapalene with therapeutic potential are highlighted in this review paper. Thus, adapalene could be a valuable therapeutic drug into the treatment of several types of cancer. Additionally, some neurodegenerative diseases could be treated with a suitable formulation for intravenous administration. The antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus of an analogue of ADP has been proven. In different therapeutic schemes, ADP is more effective in combination with other active substances. New topical combinations with adapalene include ketoconazole (antifungal), mometasone furoate (anti-inflammatory corticosteroid), nadifloxacin (fluoroquinolone), and alfa and beta hydroxy acids. Combination with oral drugs is a new trend that enhances the properties of topical formulations with adapalene. Several studies have investigated the effects of ADP in co-administration with azithromycin, doxycycline, faropenem, isotretinoin, and valganciclovir. Innovative formulations of ADP also aim to achieve a better bioavailability, increased efficacy, and reduced side effects. In this review, we have highlighted the current studies on adapalene regarding biological effects useful in various treatment types. Adapalene has not been exploited yet to its full biological potential.

Keywords: adapalene; antibacterial; antitumor effects; cancer; dermatology; neuroprotection; retinoids.

Publication types

  • Review