Generic Name: tretinoin (TREH-tih-noyn)
Brand Name: Examples include Avita and Retin-A
Retin-A gel is used for:
Treating acne. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Retin-A gel is a vitamin A derivative. How it exerts its beneficial effects against acne is not fully known. Tretinoin appears to increase skin-cell turnover and to reduce the tendency for skin cells to stick together. This reduces the formation of acne and allows quicker healing of acne that does develop.
Do NOT use Retin-A gel if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Retin-A gel
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Retin-A gel:
Some medical conditions may interact with Retin-A gel. 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 eczema, an abnormally high white blood cell count, or a sunburn
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Retin-A gel. Because little, if any, of Retin-A gel is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if Retin-A gel 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 Retin-A gel:
Use Retin-A gel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Retin-A gel is for external use only.
- Apply a thin film of medicine to the affected area. Rub in gently.
- Remove all cosmetics with a mild soap before applying Retin-A gel. Gently dry the area. Wait 20 to 30 minutes to make sure that your skin is completely dry.
- Wash your hands immediately after using Retin-A gel.
- If you miss a dose of Retin-A gel, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Retin-A gel.
Important safety information:
- Avoid getting Retin-A gel in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get Retin-A gel in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water.
- Retin-A gel may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Retin-A gel. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- For the first 2 to 3 weeks of treatment, your skin condition may appear to worsen. This is expected. Do not stop using Retin-A gel at this time.
- Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines or products on your skin. While you are using Retin-A gel, you may use cosmetics.
- Do not apply Retin-A gel to skin that is sunburned. Wait until the burn is fully healed before using Retin-A gel.
- Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Avoid using other topical medication, cosmetics, or other products that have a strong drying effect. If you have dry skin from using these products, allow your skin to "rest" before using Retin-A gel.
- Do not use Retin-A gel for any condition other than that for which it was prescribed.
- Weather extremes, such as windy or cold weather, may irritate your skin more while you are using Retin-A gel.
- Retin-A gel may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
- Retin-A gel is flammable. Do not store or use near an open flame.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Retin-A gel while you are pregnant. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Retin-A gel, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Retin-A gel:
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:
Redness, peeling at application site; sensitivity to sunlight; skin irritation; warmth or stinging at application site.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe redness, peeling, swelling, blistering, or crusting of the skin.
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. Symptoms may include clumsiness; dizziness; excessive redness, peeling, and discomfort; flushing; headache; stomach pain.Proper storage of Retin-A gel:
Store Retin-A gel at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Retin-A gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Retin-A gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Retin-A gel 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 Retin-A gel 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 Retin-A gel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Retin-A gel. 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 Retin-A gel.
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.
More about Retin-A (tretinoin topical)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Generic Availability
- Drug class: topical acne agents