What is this medicine?
TRETINOIN (TRET i noe in) is a naturally occurring form of vitamin A. It is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne.
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 health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- excessive sensitivity to the sun
- an unusual or allergic reaction to fish (Atralin only), tretinoin, vitamin A, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Gently wash your face with a mild, non-medicated soap before use. Pat the skin dry. Wait 20 to 30 minutes for your skin to dry before use in order to minimize the possibility of skin irritation. Apply enough medicine to cover the affected area and rub in gently. Avoid applying this medicine to your eyes, ears, nostrils, angles of the nose, and mouth. Do not use more often than your doctor or health care professional has recommended. Using too much of this medicine may irritate or increase the irritation of your skin, and will not give faster or better results.
Talk to your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed 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, skip that dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not use extra doses, or use for a longer period of time than directed by your doctor or health care professional.
What may interact with this medicine?
- medicines or other preparations that may dry your skin such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
- medicines that increase your sensitivity to sunlight such as tetracycline or sulfa drugs
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 medicine?
Your acne may get worse initially and should then start to improve. It may take 2 to 12 weeks before you see the full effect.
Do not wash your face more than 2 or 3 times a day, unless directed by your doctor or health care professional. Do not use the following products on the same areas that you are treating with this medicine, unless otherwise directed by your doctor or health care professional: other topical agents with a strong skin drying effect such as products with a high alcohol content, astringents, spices, the peel of lime or other citrus, medicated soaps or shampoos, permanent wave solutions, electrolysis, hair removers or waxes, or any other preparations or processes that might dry or irritate your skin.
This medicine 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 use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths. Avoid cold weather and wind as much as possible, and use clothing to protect you from the weather. Skin treated with this medicine may dry out or get wind burned more easily.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- darkening or lightening of the treated areas
- severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- increased sensitivity to the sun
- mild stinging
- red, inflamed, and irritated skin, the skin may peel after a few days
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 medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Keep away from heat and flame. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
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.