Tazarotene (On the skin)


Tazarotene (taz-AR-oh-teen)

Treats psoriasis and acne.

Brand Name(s)

Tazorac, Avage

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to tazarotene or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Foam, Gel/Jelly

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.This medicine is usually applied in the evening or at bedtime.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you do, rinse the area right away with plenty of water. If you are using this medicine on your hands, be careful to not touch your eyes after you apply this medicine. Do not use on skin areas that have cuts, scrapes, sunburn, or an itchy, scaly, red rash.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine, unless you are treating skin areas on your hands. Wash off any medicine that gets on skin areas that do not need to be treated.
  • To treat acne: Gently wash and dry your face. Apply a thin layer of medicine to cover all of the skin where the acne usually occurs.
  • To treat psoriasis: Make sure your skin is completely dry before you apply the medicine. Apply a thin layer only to the affected area. Rub it in gently. If you use any kind of lotion or cream on your skin, apply it at least 1 hour before you apply this medicine.
  • If you are using Fabior? foam, dispense a small amount of foam into your palm. Apply only enough foam to lightly cover the affected areas of the face and upper body. Gently rub it until the foam disappears. Avoid fire, flame, or smoking during and right after you apply the foam.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless your doctor has told you to.
  • You may need to use this medicine for several weeks or months before your skin starts to look better. Applying extra medicine will not make it work faster.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip it and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use more medicine to make up for the missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the Fabior? foam. Do not spray or use it near heat, open flame, or while you smoke. Do not puncture, break, or burn the can.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you also use vitamin A supplements, benzoyl peroxide, diuretics (water pills, such as hydrochlorothiazide, Aldactazide®, Dyazide®, Hyzaar®, Maxzide®, or Moduretic®), an antibiotic (such as ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, tetracycline, Avelox®, Cipro®, Factive®, or Sumycin®), a sulfa drug (such as Bactrim®, Septra®), or a phenothiazine medicine (such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, Phenergan®, Serentil®, or Thorazine®).
  • Do not use any other medicines on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Avoid using any skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin. These include rough skin cleansers, hair removal products, soaps or cosmetics that cause dryness, or products that contain alcohol, astringents, spices, or lime.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • You must have a negative pregnancy test within 2 weeks before you start using this medicine. Your doctor may tell you to start using the medicine during your menstrual period.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have eczema or a history of skin cancer.
  • Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
  • This medicine makes your skin more sensitive to irritation and more likely to burn. Avoid exposing your skin to wind, cold weather, and sunlight, even on cloudy days. Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed. Use a sunscreen or sunblock lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on a regular basis. Wear protective clothing when you are outside.
  • Skin reactions such as dryness, redness, scaling, burning, or stinging can occur when you use this medicine. Use a moisturizer as needed.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.Psoriasis should start to improve within 2 weeks. Acne may take 4 weeks or longer to start improving.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blisters, swelling, rash, or red, scaly, crusty skin
  • Severe skin itching, burning, redness, peeling, or pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in color of treated skin
  • Mild skin itching, peeling, stinging, burning, or dryness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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