Retin-A

Generic Name: Tretinoin

  • What is Retin-A?

    Retin-A is a topical medicine (applied directly on the skin) used to treat acne. It is available in a gel, cream, and solution.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Retin-A?

    Retin-A is for external use only. Do not use it in your eyes, mouth, or corners of your nose.

    Limit sun exposure while you are using Retin-A. If you have a sunburn, wait until it fully recovers before you start this medicine. Use sunscreen products (at least SPF 15) and wear protective clothing over treated areas when you cannot avoid being exposed to the sun. Weather extremes, such as wind and cold, can irritate your skin and should also be avoided while using this medicine.

    During the early weeks of treatment, a worsening of your condition can occur due to the action of Retin-A on deep, previously unseen lesions. Acne usually improves after 6-12 weeks of treatment. If it gets worse, do not stop using Retin-A, but tell your doctor.

  • Who should not take Retin-A?

    Do not use Retin-A if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Retin-A?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Retin-A, especially if you have any allergies, sunburn, or other skin disorders such as eczema (an inflammation or irritation of the skin).

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Apply to the affected area(s) once a day.

  • How should I take Retin-A?

    Apply Retin-A exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Retin-A is usually used in the evening. Cleanse the affected area thoroughly before applying Retin-A. Use enough medication to lightly cover the affected area. Any change in dosage form, strength, or frequency should be closely monitored by your doctor to determine your tolerance and response.

    For Retin-A liquid, you can use a fingertip, gauze pad, or cotton swab to apply it. Do not put too much of the solution on the gauze or cotton so that it does not run into areas where treatment is not intended.

  • What should I avoid while taking Retin-A?

    Do not use Retin-A in your eyes, mouth, or corners of your nose.

    Do not use a harsh soap; avoid frequent washings and harsh scrubbing.

    Do not excessively expose your skin to the sun, wind, or cold to prevent further irritation.

    Do not expose Retin-A gel to heat or flame.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Retin-A?

    If Retin-A is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is important to check with your doctor before combining Retin-A with any other medication.

  • What are the possible side effects of Retin-A?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: allergic reactions, blistering, changes in skin color, crusting or peeling of your skin, redness, sensitivity to sunlight, skin irritation, swelling

  • Can I receive Retin-A if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Retin-A during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Retin-A?

    If you miss a dose of Retin-A apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply two doses at once.

  • How should I store Retin-A?

    Store at room temperature.