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Tretinoin use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 7, 2023.

Drugs containing Tretinoin: Retin-A, Retin A Micro, Vesanoid, Renova, Twyneo, Tri-Luma, Altreno, Altinac, Tretin-X, Veltin, Show all 46 »Avita, Tardeoxia, Kataryaxn, Varoxia, Refissa, Obagi, Atralin, Deoxiademtar Gel, Deoxiavar, Deoxiatar Solution, Ziana, Triderma, Katarya, Ketarya, Kevarya, Kutaryaxm, Kutaryaxmpa, Kuvarya, Kuvarye, Olivia Quido Firm and Fade, Quihoxvar, Solage, Tardimaxia, Vardimaxia, Oxiatar, Oxiavarry, Oxiazar, Taroxia, Oxiavar, Oxiavary, Idyyxiatar Gel, Retisol-A, Vitinoin, Stieva-A, Stieva-A Forte, Retin-A and Renova

Tretinoin Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Tretinoin has not been studied during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding should be avoided during oral use and for 1 week after the last dose. Because it is poorly absorbed after topical application, it is considered a low risk to the nursing infant.[1] Do not apply tretinoin directly to the nipple and areola and ensure that the infant's skin does not come into direct contact with the areas of skin that have been treated.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

A review of adverse reaction reports on retinoids causing a breast reaction submitted to a French pharmacovigilance center found 1 case of gynecomastia was associated with topical tretinoin use.[2]

Alternate Drugs to Consider

(Acne) Azelaic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Clindamycin, Erythromycin; (Psoriasis) Adalimumab, Certolizumab Pegol, Etanercept, Infliximab, Phototherapy, Tretinoin


Butler DC, Heller MM, Murase JE. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: Part II. Lactation. J Am Acad Dermatol 2014;70:417.e1-10. [PubMed: 24528912]
Atzenhoffer M, Pierre S, Bellet F, et al. Gynecomastia and galactorrhea: Unlabeled adverse drug reactions of retinoids used in dermatology. Drug Safety 2018;41:1198-9. doi:10.1007/s40264-018-0719-2 [CrossRef]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding


Milk, Human

Antineoplastic Agents

Dermatologic Agents

Keratolytic Agents


Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.