TAZORAC (Tazarotene)
TAZORAC (Tazarotene)
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TAZORAC (Tazarotene)

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What is this medication?

Tazarotene (Topical), Tazorac
Keratolytic Agent; Retinoic Acid Derivative; Topical Acne Product

Officially indicated for the treatment of acne vulgaris, palliation of facial fine wrinkles, facial mottled hyper-/hypopigmentation, and psoriasis.

How does this medication work? 

Tazarotene, Tazorac/Arazlo/Fabior is a retinoic prodrug that is converted to its active form tazarotenic acid which binds to and regulates gene expression through all three members of the RAR family of retinoid nuclear receptors, RARα, RARβ, and RARγ, but shows selectivity for RARβ and RARγ.  Tazarotenic acid modulates the differentiation and proliferation of epithelial tissue and exerts some degree of anti-inflammatory and immunological activity.

How should I take this medication? 

Acne Vulgaris

Topical: Apply once daily in the evening before bedtime. 

Palliation of fine facial wrinkles, facial mottled hyper-/hypopigmentation

Topical: Apply a pea-sized amount to the entire face once daily at bedtime.


Topical: Apply a thin film once daily to psoriatic lesions

How to Use Tazarotene, Tazorac/Arazlo/Fabior:  Apply tazarotene, Tazorac/Arazlo/Fabior as directed by your doctor and use only on your skin; keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes.  Do not apply on any mucous membranes.  Avoid using occlusive dressing or wrappings.  

For acne, apply cream/gel apply a thin layer to clean, dry face before bedtime, lightly covering the entire face.  For foam, dispense a small amount in the palm of your hand and lightly cover the entire affected area of your face, etc.; massage into the skin until the foam has disappeared.  

For palliation of fine wrinkles and mottled hyper-/hypopigmentation, apply to a thin layer to the entire face including the eyelids.  Emollients or moisturizers may be applied before or after; ensure first cream or lotion has absorbed into the skin and has dried completely before applying tazarotene.  

For psoriasis, apply a thin layer to the psoriatic lesions only.  If emollients are used, apply them at least 1 hour prior to application. 

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Do not use in patients with hypersensitivity to tazarotene or any component of the formulation. 

Watch for signs of an allergic reaction which can include: rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing or talking; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat.

Risk of photosensitivity and skin irritation

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

The most common side effects occur on at the site of skin application with the frequency of incidence dependant on the formulation and/or strength.   Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:


Dermatologic: Desquamation (0.1% cream 40%; foam 6%), erythema (0.1% cream 34%; foam 6%), burning sensation of skin (26%), xeroderma (7% to 16%), skin irritation (10% to 14%), exacerbation of psoriasis, skin pain