Generic Name: anthralin (AN-thrah-lin)
Brand Name: Examples include Dritho-Scalp and Zithronal RR
Anthralin cream is used for:
Anthralin cream is a topical antimitotic. It works by slowing the reproduction of skin cells.
Do NOT use anthralin cream if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in anthralin cream
- you have active inflamed psoriatic eruptions
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using anthralin cream:
Some medical conditions may interact with anthralin cream. 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 inflamed psoriatic eruptions, folliculitis, other skin problems, or kidney disease
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with anthralin cream. Because little, if any, of anthralin cream is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if anthralin cream 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 anthralin cream:
Use anthralin cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Anthralin cream is for external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Do not apply to folds or creases of the skin.
- Wash and completely dry the affected area. Apply a small amount onto the lesions and rub it in gently and carefully.
- At the end of each skin treatment period, rinse the skin completely with cool to lukewarm water before washing it with soap. The margins of lesions may gradually become stained (purple/brown) as you continue to use anthralin cream, but the staining will disappear after your treatment is finished.
- For scalp treatment, wash your hair before applying anthralin cream. Rinse your hair with water, and comb it to remove scaling. Apply anthralin cream while your scalp is still damp. Rub the medicine into the lesions well. Do not apply anthralin cream to areas where there are no lesions.
- Remove any medicine that may be behind the ears.
- At the end of each scalp treatment period, rinse your hair and scalp completely with cool to lukewarm water. Shampoo your hair and scalp to remove any additional cream (which may have become red/brown).
- Wash your hands immediately after using anthralin cream, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
- If excessive soreness or spreading of lesions occurs after using anthralin cream, contact your health care provider.
- If you miss a dose of anthralin cream, 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 anthralin cream.
Important safety information:
- Anthralin cream may be harmful if swallowed. If you may have taken anthralin cream by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
- Anthralin cream may stain skin or hair. Temporary discoloration of hair and fingernails may occur while using anthralin cream, but can be minimized by carefully applying the medicine.
- To prevent discoloration of the tub or shower, always rinse the tub or shower with lukewarm water right after washing or showering. Use a cleanser to remove any deposit on the surface of the tub or shower.
- Use protective dressings while using anthralin cream to prevent staining of clothing and bed sheets unless instructed otherwise by your doctor. Staining of fabric may be permanent.
- Contact with plastics and other materials may cause staining and should be avoided.
- Use anthralin cream with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking anthralin cream, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using anthralin cream during pregnancy. It is unknown if anthralin cream is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking anthralin cream.
Possible side effects of anthralin cream:
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:
Irritation; staining of treated areas.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe skin soreness; spreading of lesions.
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 anthralin cream:
Store anthralin cream at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep anthralin cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about anthralin cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Anthralin cream 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 anthralin cream 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 anthralin cream. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to anthralin cream. 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 anthralin cream.
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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- Drug class: topical antipsoriatics