Tretinoin is a topical (applied to the skin) form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself.
The Retin-A and Avita brands of tretinoin are used to treat acne. The Renova brand of tretinoin is used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration, and to make rough facial skin feel smoother.
Tretinoin topical may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Tretinoin topical can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not use tretinoin topical on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, irritated, or broken skin. Also avoid using this medication in wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using tretinoin topical. Use this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you think it is not working. It may take weeks or months of use before you notice improvement in your skin. If you are using tretinoin topical to treat acne, your condition may get slightly worse for a short time when you first start using the medication. Call your doctor if skin irritation becomes severe or if your acne does not improve within 8 to 12 weeks.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tretinoin topical is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Tretinoin topical can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Use tretinoin topical exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects. Do not use this medication for longer than your doctor has prescribed.Wash your hands before and after applying tretinoin topical. Before applying, clean and dry the skin area to be treated.
Applying tretinoin topical to wet skin may cause skin irritation. If you use Renova, wait at least 20 minutes after washing your face before applying a thin layer of the medication.
Do not wash the treated area for at least 1 hour after applying tretinoin topical. Avoid the use of other skin products on the treated area for at least 1 hour following application of tretinoin topical.
Applying an excessive amount of tretinoin gel may result in "pilling" of the medication. If this occurs, use a thinner layer of gel with the next application.
Tretinoin topical should be used as part of a complete skin care program that includes avoiding sunlight and using an effective sunscreen and protective clothing.Use this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you think it is not working. It may take weeks or months of use before you notice improvement in your skin. If you are using tretinoin topical to treat acne, your condition may get slightly worse for a short time when you first start using the medication. Call your doctor if skin irritation becomes severe or if your acne does not improve within 8 to 12 weeks. Store tretinoin topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat. The gel formulations of Retin-A are flammable, keep them away from open flame.
Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Tretinoin topical is not expected to cause overdose symptoms.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Tretinoin topical can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun. Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. If it does get into any of these areas, wash with water. Do not use tretinoin topical on skin that is sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated. Also avoid using this medication in wounds or on areas of eczema. Wait until these conditions have healed before using tretinoin topical.
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime. Do not use other medication skin products unless your doctor has told you to.
Your skin may be more sensitive to weather extremes such as cold and wind while using this medicine.
Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Less serious side effects may include burning, warmth, stinging, tingling, itching, redness, swelling, dryness, peeling, irritation, or discolored skin.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Do not use skin products that contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid unless otherwise directed by your doctor. These products can cause severe skin irritation if used with tretinoin topical.
The following drugs can interact with tretinoin topical, which can make your skin more sensitive to natural and artificial sunlight. Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of these:
a diuretic (water pill);
tetracycline (Sumycin, Panmycin, Robitet), minocycline (Minocin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), demeclocycline (Declomycin), and others;
an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), ofloxacin (Floxin), and others;
a sulfa drug such as Bactrim, Septra, Cotrim, and others; or
chlorpromazine (Thorazine), prochlorperazine (Compazine), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), promethazine (Phenergan, Promethegan), perphenazine (Trilafon), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can affect tretinoin topical. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about tretinoin topical.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.05. Revision Date: 08/03/2009 12:30:32 PM.;
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.