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Oxymetazoline topical

Generic name: oxymetazoline topical [ OX-ee-me-TAZ-o-leen-TOP-i-kal ]
Brand name: Rhofade
Dosage form: topical cream (1%)
Drug class: Topical anti-rosacea agents

Medically reviewed by on Apr 25, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is oxymetazoline topical?

Oxymetazoline is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels. Dilated blood vessels under the skin can cause redness.

Oxymetazoline topical (for the skin) is used to treat facial redness caused by rosacea.

Oxymetazoline topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.

Rinse with water if oxymetazoline topical gets in your eyes.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to oxymetazoline.

To make sure oxymetazoline topical is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether oxymetazoline topical passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Oxymetazoline topical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use oxymetazoline topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use oxymetazoline topical in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use this medicine on open wounds or irritated skin. If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina, rinse with water.

Apply a thin layer of medication to cover the entire face. Do not apply near your eyes or mouth.

Wash your hands after applying this medicine.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of oxymetazoline 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 oxymetazoline topical?

Avoid getting oxymetazoline topical in your eyes or mouth.

Oxymetazoline topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

This medicine may cause serious side effects. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • worsening of your rosacea symptoms;

  • numbness, tingling, cold feeling in your hands or feet;

  • pale or purple appearance in your fingers or toes; or

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights.

Common side effects of oxymetazoline topical may include:

  • skin redness or itching;

  • pain; or

  • other skin reactions.

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.

Oxymetazoline topical dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Acne Rosacea:

Apply a thin layer to cover the entire face (e.g., forehead, nose, cheeks, chin) once a day

-The eyes and lips should be avoided during application.
-Patients should wash their hands immediately after application.

Use: Topical treatment of persistent facial erythema associated with rosacea

What other drugs will affect oxymetazoline topical?

Other drugs may interact with oxymetazoline topical, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.