Generic Name: hydroquinone (hye-droe-KWIN-own)
Brand Name: Examples include Esoterica and Melquin
Hydroquinone cream is used for:
Lightening freckles, age spots, and other skin discolorations associated with pregnancy, skin trauma, birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Hydroquinone cream is a skin-bleaching agent. It works by inhibiting an enzyme reaction in skin cells.
Do NOT use hydroquinone cream if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in hydroquinone cream
- you are pregnant
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using hydroquinone cream:
Some medical conditions may interact with hydroquinone cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are 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
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with hydroquinone cream. However, no specific interactions with hydroquinone cream are known at this time.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if hydroquinone 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 hydroquinone cream:
Use hydroquinone cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Before using hydroquinone cream 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 effects develop, contact your doctor as soon as possible and do not use hydroquinone cream on other areas.
- Wash and completely dry the affected areas. Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed. Wash your hands immediately after using hydroquinone cream, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
- If you miss a dose of hydroquinone 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 hydroquinone cream.
Important safety information:
- Protect your skin from the sun during and after the use of hydroquinone cream. Limit sun exposure, use a sunscreen, and wear protective clothing to cover the treated areas.
- Hydroquinone cream is for external use only. Avoid getting hydroquinone cream in your eyes, nose, or mouth, or on your lips. If you get hydroquinone cream in your eyes, wash them out with water and contact your doctor. If you get hydroquinone cream on your lips or in your nose or mouth, rinse with water.
- Do not use hydroquinone cream on irritated or injured skin.
- Do not use hydroquinone cream with products that contain hydrogen peroxide or benzoyl peroxide. This may cause a dark staining of your skin. The staining can be removed by stopping use of the peroxide and washing your skin with soap and water.
- Do not use hydroquinone cream with other medicines containing resorcinol, phenol, or salicylic acid unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
- 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 taking contains sulfites.
- Hydroquinone cream is not recommended for use 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, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using hydroquinone cream during pregnancy. It is unknown if hydroquinone cream is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using hydroquinone cream, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of hydroquinone 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:
Dryness or cracking of the skin if applied around eyes or nose; minor redness or mild burning sensation at application site.
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; excessive 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.Proper storage of hydroquinone cream:
Store hydroquinone cream at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep hydroquinone cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about hydroquinone cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Hydroquinone 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 hydroquinone 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 hydroquinone cream. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to hydroquinone 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 hydroquinone 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.