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Coal tar foam

Generic Name: coal tar (kole tar)
Brand Name: Scytera

Coal tar foam is used for:

Relieving itching, irritation, redness, dryness, scaling, and flaking of the skin caused by psoriasis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Coal tar foam is a keratolytic. It works by slowing bacterial growth and loosening and softening scales and crust.

Do NOT use coal tar foam if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in coal tar foam
  • you have a condition that makes you sensitive to sunlight (eg, lupus, allergy to sunlight)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Psoriasis - Treatment Options to Manage Your Symptoms

Before using coal tar foam:

Some medical conditions may interact with coal tar foam. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are using any other treatment for psoriasis, including ultraviolet radiation or a prescription medicine
  • if you are using coal tar foam for psoriasis or seborrhea and you also have eczema

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with coal tar foam. However, no specific interactions with coal tar foam are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if coal tar foam may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use coal tar foam:

Use coal tar foam as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Wash your hands before using coal tar foam.
  • Shake well before each use.
  • Hold the canister upside down to dispense the medicine. Apply the smallest amount necessary to cover the entire area with a thin layer as directed by your doctor. Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed.
  • Wash your hands after using coal tar foam, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
  • If you miss a dose of coal tar foam, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use coal tar foam.

Important safety information:

  • Avoid getting coal tar foam in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get coal tar foam in your eyes, immediately wash them out with cool tap water.
  • Coal tar foam may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • Coal tar foam may stain hair, skin, contact lenses, and clothing.
  • Do not use any other medicine or special cleanser on your skin unless directed by your doctor.
  • Do not use coal tar foam on open, raw, inflamed, or infected skin.
  • Do not use coal tar foam in or around the genital area, groin, or rectum unless you doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Do not use coal tar foam over a large area of your body without first talking to your doctor.
  • Do not use coal tar foam for a prolonged period of time without consulting your doctor.
  • Coal tar foam may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to coal tar foam. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Different brands of coal tar foam may have different dosing instructions for CHILDREN on the package labeling. Follow the dosing instructions provided on the package labeling or by your doctor. If you are unsure of how to use coal tar foam on a child, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Coal tar foam is flammable. Do not store or use near an open flame or while smoking.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using coal tar foam while you are pregnant. It is not known if coal tar foam is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using coal tar foam, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of coal tar foam:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Itching, burning, tenderness, or redness; sensitivity to sunlight.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); irritation.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of coal tar foam:

Store coal tar foam at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not expose to heat or store at temperatures above 120 degrees F (49 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom. Do not puncture, break, or burn the canister even if it appears to be empty. Keep coal tar foam out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about coal tar foam, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Coal tar foam is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take coal tar foam or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about coal tar foam. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to coal tar foam. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using coal tar foam.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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