Tazarotene (Topical)

Tazarotene (On The Skin)

Tazarotene (taz-AR-oh-teen)

Treats psoriasis (silvery, scaly patches on the skin) and severe acne.

Brand Name(s):

Tazorac, Avage
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to tazarotene, or if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Cream, Gel/Jelly

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to.  
  • This medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you do, rinse the area right away with plenty of water. If you are using this medicine on your hands, be careful to not touch your eyes after applying this medicine. Do not use on skin areas that have cuts, scrapes, sunburn, or an itchy, scaly, red rash called eczema.  
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine, unless you are treating skin areas on your hands. Wash off any medicine that gets on skin areas that do not need to be treated.  
  • To treat acne: Gently wash and dry your face. Apply a thin layer of medicine to cover all of the skin where the acne usually occurs.  
  • To treat psoriasis: Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying the medicine. Apply a thin layer only to the affected area. Rub it in gently. If you use any kind of lotion or cream on your skin, apply it at least 1 hour before applying this medicine.  
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless your doctor has told you to.  
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.

If a dose is missed::

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, do not try to make up the dose. Apply your next dose at the usual time.  
  • Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Keep the tube tightly closed.  
  • Keep all medicine away from children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using vitamin A supplements, diuretics or “water pills” (such as hydrochlorothiazide, Aldactazidereg;, Dyazidereg;, Hyzaarreg;, Maxzidereg;, Modureticreg;), an antibiotic (such as Ciproreg;, tetracycline), a sulfa drug, or phenothiazines (such as Compazinereg;, Phenerganreg;, Serentilreg;, Thorazinereg;).  
  • Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas. Be careful using anything that could dry or irritate your skin, including hair removal products and processes, perm solutions, and medicated soaps and shampoos.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant may harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.  
  • To make sure you are not pregnant when you start using this medicine, you may need to start using it during a normal menstrual period. Also, your doctor may want you to have a pregnancy test 2 weeks before you start using this medicine.  
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have eczema or are sensitive to sunlight.  
  • Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.  
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, wind, or cold weather. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors (minimum SPF 15). Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds. Keep your skin covered when outside.  
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor. Psoriasis should start to improve within 2 weeks. Acne may take 4 weeks or longer to start improving.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Blisters, scabs, swelling, redness, oozing, and itching on any area of skin  
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet  
  • Severe skin itching, burning, redness, peeling, or pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in color of treated skin  
  • Mild skin itching, peeling, stinging, burning, or dryness

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.