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Anti-Dandruff Side Effects

Generic name: coal tar topical

Note: This document contains side effect information about coal tar topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Anti-Dandruff.

Applies to coal tar topical: topical foam, topical gel/jelly, topical liquid, topical lotion, topical ointment, topical shampoo, topical solution

In animal studies, coal tar has been shown to increase the chance of skin cancer.

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, coal tar topical (the active ingredient contained in Anti-Dandruff) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking coal tar topical:


  • Skin irritation not present before use of this medicine
  • skin rash

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of coal tar topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Stinging (mild)—especially for gel and solution dosage forms

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 23, 2021.

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Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.