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Tretinoin use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Tretinoin: Retin-A, Tri-Luma, Altreno, Retin A Micro, Veltin, Renova, Avita, Atralin, Stieva-A, Ziana, Show all 36 »Solage, Altinac, Katarya, Refissa, Obagi, Retisol-A, Vitinoin, Tretin-X, Stieva-A Forte, Tardeoxia, Taroxia, Vesanoid, Varoxia, Oxiavarry, Oxiatar, Vardimaxia, Tardimaxia, Olivia Quido Firm and Fade, Kuvarye, Kuvarya, Kutaryaxmpa, Kutaryaxm, Kevarya, Ketarya, Kataryaxn, Retin-A and Renova

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 19, 2020.

Tretinoin Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Tretinoin has not been studied during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding should probably be avoided after oral use. Because it is poorly absorbed after topical application, it is considered a low risk to the nursing infant.[1][2][3] Ensure that the infant's skin does not come into direct contact with the areas of skin that have been treated. Only water-miscible cream or gel products should be applied to the breast because ointments may expose the infant to high levels of mineral paraffins via licking.[4]

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.[5]

Alternate Drugs to Consider

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


Leachman SA, Reed BR. The use of dermatologic drugs in pregnancy and lactation. Dermatol Clin. 2006;24:167-97. [PubMed: 16677965]
Zip C. Common sense dermatological drug suggestions for women who are breast-feeding. Skin Therapy Lett. 2002;7:5-7. [PubMed: 12007012]
Butler DC, Heller MM, Murase JE. Safety of dermatologic medications in pregnancy and lactation: Part II Lactation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;70:417.e1-417.e10. [PubMed: 24528912]
Noti A, Grob K, Biedermann M et al. Exposure of babies to C(15)-C(45) mineral paraffins from human milk and breast salves. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003;38:317-25. [PubMed: 14623482]
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. Abstract. DOI: 10.1007/s40264-018-0719-2. [CrossRef]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

  • Breast Feeding
  • Lactation
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Retinoids

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

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