Generic Name: hydroquinone/vitamin a (HYE-droe-kwin-one/VYE-ta-min A)
Brand Name: Alustra
Hydroquinone/vitamin a is used for:
Bleaching freckles, age spots, and other skin discolorations that may occur due to pregnancy, skin trauma, use of birth control pills, or other hormone replacement therapy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Hydroquinone/vitamin a is a combination depigmenting agent and vitamin A. It works by lightening the skin.
Do NOT use hydroquinone/vitamin a if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in hydroquinone/vitamin a
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using hydroquinone/vitamin a:
Some medical conditions may interact with hydroquinone/vitamin a. 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 have asthma or damaged or irritated skin
- if you are unusually sensitive to sunlight or must be outside for prolonged periods of time
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with hydroquinone/vitamin a. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Products that contain benzoyl peroxide or hydrogen peroxide because side effects, such as a dark staining of the skin, may occur
- Medicines that contain phenol, resorcinol, or salicylic acid because the risk of side effects may be increased
- Fluoroquinolones (eg, levofloxacin), phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), sulfonamides (eg, glipizide, sulfamethoxazole), tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline), or thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of sunburn may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if hydroquinone/vitamin a 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 hydroquinone/vitamin a:
Use hydroquinone/vitamin a as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Hydroquinone/vitamin a comes with an additional patient leaflet. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get hydroquinone/vitamin a refilled.
- Hydroquinone/vitamin a is for external use only.
- Before using hydroquinone/vitamin a for the first time, apply a small amount to an unbroken patch of skin and check in 24 hours for itching, blistering, or excessive redness or irritation. If these side effects develop, contact your doctor.
- Wash your hands before and after using hydroquinone/vitamin a, unless your hands are a part of the treated area.
- Remove all cosmetics with a mild soap before applying hydroquinone/vitamin a. Gently dry the area.
- Apply enough medicine to cover the affected area and gently rub it in until it is evenly distributed.
- If you miss a dose of hydroquinone/vitamin a, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for you next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use hydroquinone/vitamin a.
Important safety information:
- Some of these products contain sulfites, which can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals (eg, asthma patients). If you have previously had allergic reactions to sulfites, contact your pharmacist to determine if the product you are using contains sulfites.
- Hydroquinone/vitamin a may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to hydroquinone/vitamin a. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
- If your symptoms do not improve within 2 months or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Do not use products containing benzoyl peroxide or hydrogen peroxide with hydroquinone/vitamin a because your skin may become darkly stained. The stain can be removed by stopping use of the peroxide product and washing your skin with soap and water.
- Do not use other medicines or products on your skin, especially products that dry or irritate the skin, without first discussing it with your doctor.
- Avoid getting hydroquinone/vitamin a in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get hydroquinone/vitamin a in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water.
- Do not exceed the recommended dose or use hydroquinone/vitamin a for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Hydroquinone/vitamin a may be harmful if swallowed. If you or someone you know may have taken hydroquinone/vitamin a by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
- Use hydroquinone/vitamin a with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while using hydroquinone/vitamin a, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using hydroquinone/vitamin a during pregnancy. It is unknown if hydroquinone/vitamin a is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using hydroquinone/vitamin a, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of hydroquinone/vitamin a:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Mild burning or redness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blistering; blue-black darkening of the skin; cracking or excessive dryness, redness, stinging, or 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. Symptoms may include blurred vision; bone pain; change in texture of hair or nails; drowsiness; dry, scaly skin; headache; itching; nausea; vomiting.Proper storage of hydroquinone/vitamin a:
Store hydroquinone/vitamin a at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep hydroquinone/vitamin a out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about hydroquinone/vitamin a, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Hydroquinone/vitamin a 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 hydroquinone/vitamin a 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 hydroquinone/vitamin a. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to hydroquinone/vitamin a. 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 hydroquinone/vitamin a.
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.