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Why is this medication prescribed?
Tretinoin is used to treat acne. It promotes peeling of affected skin areas and unclogs pores. Tretinoin controls acne but does not cure it.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Tretinoin comes in topical liquid, cream, and gel. Tretinoin usually is used daily at bedtime or once every 2 or 3 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use tretinoin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your acne probably will get worse (red, scaling skin and an increase in acne sores) during the first 7-10 days that you use this medication. Nevertheless, continue to use it; the acne sores should disappear. Usually 2-3 weeks (and sometimes more than 6 weeks) of regular use of tretinoin is required before improvement is seen.
Use only nonmedicated cosmetics on cleansed skin. Do not use topical preparations with a lot of alcohol, menthol, spices, or lime (e.g., shaving lotions, astringents, and perfumes); they can sting your skin, especially when you first use tretinoin.
Do not use any other topical medications, especially benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid (wart remover), and dandruff shampoos containing sulfur or resorcinol unless your doctor directs you to do so. If you have used any of these topical medications recently, ask your doctor if you should wait before using tretinoin.
If you are to apply any form of tretinoin, follow these steps:
Apply the medication to the affected skin area only (e.g., skin with acne sores).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using tretinoin,
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you use tretinoin once a day, skip the missed dose completely. Do not use this medication more often than once a day. If you use tretinoin every 2 or 3 days and remember a missed dose within 12 hours of the time when you should have applied it, apply the missed dose immediately. Otherwise, skip the missed dose; do not apply a double dose.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from tretinoin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Tretinoin is for external use only. Do not let tretinoin get into your eyes, the corner of your nose, or mouth, or any broken skin, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Tell your doctor if your skin condition gets worse or does not go away.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT