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resorcinol (Topical route)

re-SOR-si-nol

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • DiabetAid Anti-Itch

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Cream

Therapeutic Class: Analgesic

Uses For resorcinol

Resorcinol is used to treat acne, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders. It is also used to treat corns, calluses, and warts.

Slideshow: Psoriasis: Treatment Options to Manage Your Symptoms

Resorcinol works by helping to remove hard, scaly, or roughened skin.

Some of these preparations are available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using resorcinol

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For resorcinol, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to resorcinol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Resorcinol may be absorbed through the skin and should not be used on large areas of the bodies of infants and children. In addition, resorcinol should not be used on wounds, since doing so may cause a blood disease called methemoglobinemia.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of resorcinol in the elderly with use in other age groups, resorcinol is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of resorcinol

It is very important that you use resorcinol only as directed. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of absorption through the skin and the chance of resorcinol poisoning.

Apply enough resorcinol to cover the affected areas, and rub in gently.

Immediately after using resorcinol, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.

Keep resorcinol away from the eyes. If you should accidentally get some in your eyes, flush them thoroughly with water.

Dosing

The dose of resorcinol will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of resorcinol. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For lotion dosage form:
    • For acne, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis:
      • Adults and children—Use as needed.
  • For ointment dosage form:
    • For acne, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, corns, calluses, or warts:
      • Adults and children—Use and dose must be determined by the doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of resorcinol, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using resorcinol

When using resorcinol, do not use any of the following preparations on the same affected area as resorcinol, unless otherwise directed by your doctor:

  • Abrasive soaps or cleansers
  • Alcohol-containing preparations
  • Any other topical acne preparation or preparation containing a peeling agent (for example, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, or tretinoin [vitamin A acid])
  • Cosmetics or soaps that dry the skin
  • Medicated cosmetics
  • Other topical medicine for the skin

To use any of the above preparations on the same affected area as resorcinol may cause severe irritation of the skin.

resorcinol may darken light-colored hair.

resorcinol Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common or rare
  • Skin irritation not present before use of resorcinol
Symptoms of resorcinol poisoning
  • Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache (severe or continuing)
  • nervousness or restlessness
  • slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing
  • sweating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Redness and peeling of skin (may occur after a few days)

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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