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Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required
Last Updated: December 14, 2018

Tretinoin is prescribed to patients with severe acne problems. The drug effectively treats acne and reduces the amount of pimples that tend to develop, while healing pimples that have already developed on the body. The group of medicines that the drug belongs to is known as retinoids. The drug affects skin cell growth in the body regulating the amount of pimples that crop up.

The drug is mostly available in the form of a topical cream. Make sure that your hands are clean and dry before you apply the cream. Clean the area of the body affected by pimples with a light cleanser and pat it dry. Apply a light layer of the medication daily just before bed time or as per directions given by your doctor. You can also use cotton or gauze for equal application of the cream. Tretinoin is meant to be applied to the skin only. Do not apply the medicine on a cut or scratch. Also avid application on the inner lip or mouth.

Keep the drug away from children. Also ensure that it does not get into the eyes. If it does rinse your eyes with water until the irritation stops. If the irritation persist call your doctor and seek further advice.

Side effects commonly occur when you take any medication of drug. In the case of Tretinoin you may experience a slight sting during the process of application on the skin. Other common side effects include scaling, dryness of the skin, irritation or redness and temporary increase in acne. These symptoms will last for about a couple of weeks after you start using Tretinoin. They generally decrease and eventually go away with pro-long use. If you do experience heavy skin dryness, you can use a mild moisturizer.

The drug increase sensitivity to light, thus ensure that you have sunscreen on when you go out during the day. Also put a hat on and wear goggles to protect yourself from bright sunlight.

Information given here is based on the salt and content of the medicine. Effect and uses of medicine may vary from person to person. It is advicable to consult a Dermatologist before using this medicine.

  • Acne Vulgaris

    This medicine is used to prevent and treat pimples. It also reduces the occurrence of new pimple breakout and promotes the healing of the skin.
  • Wrinkled And Rough/Mottled Skin

    This medicine is used for management of wrinkles, rough patches, and patchy skin color associated with excess UV/sunlight exposure. It is mostly used in combination with other medicines.
  • Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

    This medicine is also used orally under specific circumstances to treat a cancer of the blood where the affected cells fail to mature properly.
  • Allergy

    This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a known history of allergy to tretinoin/isotretinoin/retinoids or any other component present in the dosage form.
  • Skin Irritation

  • Burning Or Tingling Sensation Of Skin

  • Red Spots On Skin

  • Peeling And Blistering Of Skin

  • Patchy Appearance Of Skin

  • Photosensitivity Of Skin

  • Nausea Or Vomiting

    Oral Form
  • Fever With Body Pain

    Oral Form
  • Dry Mucous Membrane

    Oral Form
  • Blood Cell Disorder

    Oral Form
  • Difficulty In Breathing

    Oral Form
  • Dizziness

    Oral Form
  • Coffee Colored Vomit

    Oral Form
  • Hearing Loss

    Oral Form
  • Unusual Bleeding

    Oral Form
  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The time duration for which this medicine remains effective is not clinically established.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The effect of this medicine can be observed within 2-4 weeks of topical application.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    Use of this medicine by pregnant women is not recommended. Use appropriate contraception and avoid getting pregnant while using this medicine. Contact your doctor and discuss the risks if a pregnancy is suspected.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendencies were reported.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    This medicine is not recommended for use by women who are breastfeeding. It can be used if the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved with use. You should not breastfeed while the topical form of this medicine is applied.
  • Missed Dose instructions

    Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next scheduled dose then missed dose application can be skipped. Contact your doctor immediately if you miss an oral dose of this medicine.
  • Overdose instructions

    Chances of an overdose with a topical application are very less. However, if the medicine is consumed orally then overdose may happen. Contact your doctor immediately in case of an oral overdose.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Tretinoin as ingredient

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Tretinoin works by binding to alpha, beta, and gamma retinoic acid receptors (RARs) thus activating them. This produces changes in the gene expression that leads to decreased cell multiplication, inhibition of tumoriogenesis and cell differentiation.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Disease


    This medicine should not be used if you are taking medicine for eczema or suffer from a skin abrasion.


    Use of this medicine on the sunburnt skin should be avoided. Your doctor may prescribe an alternate medicine that is better tolerated.
  • Interaction with Alcohol


    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Interaction with Lab Test


    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Food


    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Medicine


    The oral form of tretinoin should not be used with tetracycline or other antibiotics belonging to the same category. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment in such cases.

    Benzoyl Peroxide (Topical)

    Report the use of either of the medicine to the doctor. Your doctor may determine the best course of treatment. Do not stop the use of any medicine without consulting your doctor.

    Salicylic acid (Topical)

    Report the use of either of the medicine to the doctor. Your doctor may determine the best course of treatment. Do not stop the use of any medicine without consulting your doctor.


    Report the use of either of the medicine to the doctor. Your doctor may determine the best course of treatment. It is advised to take appropriate precautionary measures while stepping out into sunlight while using these medicines together.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Table of Content
About Tretinoin
What are the uses of Tretinoin
What are the contraindications of Tretinoin ?
What are the side effects of Tretinoin ?
Key highlights of Tretinoin
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Tretinoin approved?
Medicines containing Tretinoin
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Tretinoin ?