What is this medication?
TRETINOIN (TRET i noe in) treats acne. It belongs to a group of medications called retinoids.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Atralin, AVITA, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Tretin-X
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. Do not get it in your eyes. If you do, rinse your eyes with plenty of cool tap water. Use it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not use it more often than directed. Do not stop using it unless your care team tells you to stop it early.
Apply a thin film of the medication to the affected area. Do not apply to burned or damaged skin.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. It may be some time before you see the benefit from this medication.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun, If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Do not use other products that dry the skin. Examples include abrasive cleaners or products with alcohol in them. Do not use other acne products on the same areas of the skin as this one unless your care team tells you to use both.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
This medication is flammable. Avoid exposure to heat, fire, flame, and smoking.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy