hydroquinone topical (generic name)

Some products also contain sunscreens
(hahy droh kwi NOHN)
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What is this medicine?

HYDROQUINONE (hahy droh kwi NOHN) is applied to the the skin to lighten areas that have darkened. Some products also contain sunscreens.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to hydroquinone, sunscreens, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after applying. Make sure the skin is clean and dry. Apply just enough to cover the affected area. Rub in gently but completely. Do not apply near the eyes, mouth, or other areas of sensitive skin. If accidental contact occurs, large amounts of water should be used to wash the affected area. If the eyes are involved and eye irritation persists after thoroughly washing, contact your doctor. If you are using other skin medicines, apply them at different times of the day. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • benzoyl peroxide

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Contact your doctor or health care professional if your condition does not improve in the first two months or if you experience too much skin irritation.

This medicine will work best if you avoid excessive exposure to sunlight and wear sunscreens and protective clothing. Some hydroquinone products contain sunscreens. Use a sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher). Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths. Do not apply to sunburned areas or if you have a skin wound in the area of application.

Most cosmetics, sunscreens, and moisturizing lotions may be worn over this medicine. Wait several minutes after application of this medicine before applying them.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor immediately:
  • severe burning, itching, crusting, or swelling of the treated areas
  • unusual skin discoloration

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor if they continue or are bothersome):

  • mild itching or stinging
  • reddening of the skin

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.

Last Updated: May 01, 2009
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