Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 13, 2021.
Uses of Retin-A:
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Retin-A?
- If you are allergic to Retin-A (tretinoin cream); any part of Retin-A (tretinoin cream); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If your skin is sunburned, sensitive to light, or you have any other skin problems.
- If you are taking any drugs that may make your skin more sensitive to light. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- If you are pregnant.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Retin-A (tretinoin cream).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Retin-A (tretinoin cream) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Retin-A?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Retin-A (tretinoin cream). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- It may take several weeks to see the full effects.
- Do not use more than what your doctor told you to use. Do not use more often or longer than what you were told. Doing any of these things may raise the chance of very bad side effects.
- Do not put on sunburned skin.
- Do not put on cuts, scrapes, eczema, or damaged skin.
- Practice good skin care and avoid the sun.
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Some weather conditions may irritate the skin. Talk with the doctor.
- Use of other skin products while using Retin-A (tretinoin cream) may cause more irritation.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- You may use make-up unless your doctor has told you not to. If you will be using make-up, clean the area to be treated before putting this drug on.
- This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If Retin-A (tretinoin cream) is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Retin-A (tretinoin cream), call your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Retin-A) best taken?
Use Retin-A (tretinoin cream) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take Retin-A (tretinoin cream) by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- If you get Retin-A (tretinoin cream) in any of these areas, rinse well with water.
- Put on at bedtime.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Wash affected skin and pat dry.
- You may need to wait 20 to 30 minutes before use. Check with the pharmacist about how to use Retin-A (tretinoin cream).
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Skin reaction that is very bad, bothers you, or does not go away.
What are some other side effects of Retin-A?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling of warmth.
- Burning or stinging.
- Change in color of skin.
- Some skin reactions may happen with Retin-A (tretinoin cream). These include dry skin, redness, swelling, blisters, and peeling. If these skin reactions happen, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to stop using Retin-A (tretinoin cream) for some time, change how much you use, or change how often you use Retin-A (tretinoin cream).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Retin-A?
- Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Retin-A (tretinoin cream), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Frequently asked questions
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More about Retin-A (tretinoin topical)
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