tazarotene topical (generic name)

Avage (brand name)

It is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne or psoriasis.
(ta ZAR oh teen)
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What is this medicine?

TAZAROTENE (ta ZAR oh teen) is used on the skin to treat mild to moderate acne or psoriasis.

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

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

-sensitivity to the sun or sunburn
-skin cancer or family history of skin cancer
-skin conditions or sensitivity
-an unusual or allergic reaction to tazarotene, vitamin A, benzyl alcohol, 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. Make sure the skin is clean and dry. If you use a cream or lotion to soften your skin, apply this medicine after all of the other cream or lotion has been absorbed. Apply just enough gel to cover the affected areas. Rub in gently. Do not cover area with a tight dressing. Wash your hands after applying this medicine unless you are treating your hands for psoriasis. If the gel accidentally gets on areas you do not treat, wash it off. Avoid contact with your eyes. If this medicine comes in contact with your eyes, rinse your eyes with large amounts of cool water, and contact an eye doctor if eye irritation continues.

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, use 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?

  • medicines that may dry your skin such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
  • medicines that may increase your sensitivity to the sun such as tetracycline, thiazide diuretics, quinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and others), phenothiazines (chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, thioridazine, trifluoperazine), and sulfa drugs
  • vitamin A supplements

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

After using this medicine, you may notice itching, burning or stinging. This may happen less often as your skin gets used to the medicine. Talk to your doctor or health care professional if increased sensitivity or irritation occurs. Check with your doctor or health care professional if your condition gets worse.

Women who may become pregnant should use effective birth control methods while using this medicine. It may cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. You will need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment with this medicine.

Use this medicine with caution if you are also using other products with a strong skin drying effect. This may include products with a high alcohol content, astringents, spices, the peel of lime or other citrus, medicated soaps or shampoos, permanent wave solutions, electrolysis, hair removers or waxes, or any other preparations or processes that might dry or irritate your skin. Talk to doctor or health care professional before using these products. This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths. Avoid weather extremes because they may be more irritating to patients using this medicine.

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Last Updated: May 18, 2012
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