Acne Treatment Journal

Tazarotene Anti-Acne Drug Information
A guide to "tazarotene", a topical anti-acne medication in the retinoid family, including side effects & usage tips.

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Tazarotene is a newer topical anti-acne medication that belongs in the "retinoid" family of drugs.

Currently, tazarotene is only sold under the brand name "Tazorac"and can be obtained by prescription only.

Tazarotene is derived from a synthetic version of Vitamin A and works by increasing cell turnover which helps to keep skin pores from closing.

Tazarotene is normally used to treat psoriasis, small facial wrinkles, and to a lesser degree, acne vulgaris.

Tazorac tends to be more expensive than other retinoids such as "tretinoin" based medications. Avage is another brand name drug that contains "tazarotene" as the active ingredient.

Tazarotene also tends to cause more irritation than the older tretinoin topical anti-acne drugs (Retin-A, Avita) and the newer Differin Gel (adapalene).

Even though tazarotene might cause more irritation than other retinoid medications, it works just as well at battling acne than tretinoin and some patients might experience only very mild side effects.

The common but usually mild side effects of tazarotene include burning, stinging, peeling, itchiness, warmth, dryness and increased sensitivity to the sun. Most people find that their skin becomes accustomed to this topical medication after a few weeks and the mild side effects subside.

A rare but severe side effect of tazarotene includes any allergic reaction that would cause a swelling of the throat, face, and tongue.

Tazarotene (Tazorac) is listed by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) on the Category X list which means that it should never be used while pregnant or breastfeeding due to the possibility of birth defects or harm to a newborn baby.

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