Generic Name: hydroquinone topical (HYE droe KWIN one)
Brand Name: Aclaro, Alera, Alphaquin HP, Eldopaque, Eldoquin, EpiQuin Micro, Esoterica Daytime, Hydroquinone and Sunscreen, Lustra, Melpaque HP, Melquin HP, Nuquin HP, Palmers Skin Success Eventone Fade, Remergent HQ, ...show all 35 brand namesEldopaque Forte, Eldoquin Forte, Solaquin Forte, Melanex, Melquin-3, Melanol, Viquin Forte, Solaquin, Esoterica, Esoterica Sensitive Skin, Esoterica with Sunscreen, Lustra-AF, Alustra, Glyquin, Claripel, Glyquin-XM, Nava-SC, Lustra-Ultra, Aclaro PD, EpiQuin Micro Pump, Esoterica Nighttime
What is hydroquinone topical?
Hydroquinone decreases the formation of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment in skin that gives it a brown color.
Hydroquinone topical (for the skin) is used to lighten areas of darkened skin such as freckles, age spots, melasma (sun damage), or chloasma (darkened skin caused by hormonal changes).
Hydroquinone topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about hydroquinone topical?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using hydroquinone topical?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to hydroquinone or peroxide.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
liver or kidney disease;
asthma or sulfite allergy; or
if you are using any antibiotic medicine.
It is not known whether hydroquinone topical will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether hydroquinone topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to anyone under 12 years old without medical advice.
How should I use hydroquinone topical?
Hydroquinone topical is usually applied each morning and at bedtime. Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Hydroquinone topical is for use only on the skin. Avoid getting this medicine on your lips or inside your nose or mouth. Hydroquinone may cause numbness of these areas.
Before you start using hydroquinone topical, you may choose to apply a "test dose" to see if you have an allergic reaction to this medicine. Apply a very small amount of the medicine to a small area of healthy skin, and check the area within 24 hours. If there is no reaction other than minor redness, begin using the full prescribed amount of the medicine.
Do not use hydroquinone topical on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin.
Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine, unless you are using it to treat the skin on your hands.
Apply this medicine only to the affected skin areas that need to be lightened. Try not to get any medicine on the skin around these areas.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 months of treatment with hydroquinone topical.
Use hydroquinone topical regularly to get the most benefit.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the container tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of hydroquinone topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using hydroquinone topical?
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Hydroquinone topical can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors. Some hydroquinone products may contain sunscreen. Check the medicine label or ask your doctor to be sure.
Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes.
Hydroquinone topical may make your skin more sensitive to weather extremes such as cold and wind. Protect your skin with clothing and use a moisturizing lotion as needed.
Using hydroquinone topical together with benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, or other peroxide products may stain your skin. This staining can usually be removed with soap and water.
Avoid using skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, or skin cleansers, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.
Hydroquinone topical side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using hydroquinone topical and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe skin redness, burning, or stinging;
severe skin dryness, cracking, or bleeding;
blisters or oozing; or
blue or black discoloration of the skin (especially if you are Hispanic or African-American).
Common side effects may include:
mild burning or stinging of treated skin; or
mild itching, redness, or other irritation.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Hydroquinone topical dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Dermatological Disorders:
Chloasma, Melasma, Freckles, Senile lentigines, Areas of melanin hyperpigmentation:
Apply to affected area twice daily.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Dermatological Disorders:
Chloasma, Melasma, Freckles, Senile lentigines, Areas of melanin hyperpigmentation:
>=13 years: Apply to affected area twice daily.
What other drugs will affect hydroquinone topical?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied hydroquinone. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
More about hydroquinone topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 5 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: topical depigmenting agents
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about hydroquinone topical.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
Date modified: July 24, 2017
Last reviewed: September 13, 2014