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Generic name: oxymetazoline topicalOX-ee-me-TAZ-o-leen-TOP-i-kal ]
Drug class: Topical anti-rosacea agents

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 12, 2022.

What is Rhofade?

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

Rhofade is used to treat facial redness caused by rosacea.

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


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

Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Rhofade if you are allergic to oxymetazoline.

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

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • blood circulation problems;

  • glaucoma; or

  • peripheral vascular disease such as Raynaud's syndrome, Buerger's disease, scleroderma, or Sj√∂gren's syndrome.

It is not known whether Rhofade 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.

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

How should I use Rhofade?

Use Rhofade exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine 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 Rhofade 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.

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 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 Rhofade?

Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes or mouth.

Rhofade side effects

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

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 Rhofade side effects 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.

What other drugs will affect Rhofade?

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.

Popular FAQ

How long does Rhofade take to work?

Rhofade works within 3 hours of first use to reduce facial redness for up to 11.6% of patients. With regular use over one year 36.7% of patients have a 2-grade or greater improvement in redness score, when measured 3 hours after Rhofade has been applied.

The redness measurements were repeated after 4 weeks, 26 weeks and 52 weeks to see how many patients had a 2-grade or greater improvement.

  • At 4 weeks, 3 hours after Rhofade had been applied there was an improvement in redness in 19.5% of patients and after 6 hours this increased to 23% of patients.
  • At 26 weeks, 3 hours after Rhofade was applied an improvement in redness was seen in 34.7% of patients and after 6 hours this increased to 38.1% of patients.
  • At the end of the trial at 52 weeks, 3 hours after the Rhofade had been applied 36.7% of patients had seen an improvement in redness and 6 hours later this had increased to 43.4% of patients.

How does Rhofade work?

Rhofade (oxymetazoline) is used for facial redness caused by rosacea.  When it is applied to the skin it works by blocking specific receptors (alpha-1A receptors) on blood vessels which causes the blood vessels to become narrower and therefore thinner. Thinner blood vessels means the skin looks less red.

How long does Rhofade last?

Once Rhofade is applied the number of patients whose skin redness improves starts off at 12% after 3 hours, this peaks at 18% of patients at 9 hours, then after 12 hours the number of patients with an improvement has dropped to 15%.

These results are from a clinical trial where the patients applied Rhofade daily and then on the 29 day they measured the change in skin redness at 3 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours and 12 hours, after the Rhofade had been applied.  The skin redness had to improve by 2-grades to count as an improvement.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Rhofade only for the indication prescribed.

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