tazarotene (Tazorac)

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GENERIC NAME: tazarotene


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Tazarotene is a topical acne and psoriasis medication. The exact mechanism of how tazarotene works is not known. Scientists believe that when tazarotene is applied to the skin, it affects the growth of skin cells and thereby reduces the formation of pimples and psoriasis plaques. It may affect growth of skin cells by affecting the action of genes that control production of skin cells. It also reduces inflammation. The FDA approved tazarotene in June 1997.



PREPARATIONS: Tazarotene is available in 0.05% and 0.1% cream and gel formulations.

  • Cream is available in 30 gram and 60 gram tubes.
  • Gel is available in 30 gram and 100 gram tubes.

STORAGE: Store tazarotene at room temperatures between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Tazarotene is prescribed for plaque psoriasis and acne vulgaris.


  • Plaque psoriasis: Apply a thin film and cover the affected areas once daily in the evening. Start with 0.05% and may increase to 0.1% cream or gel if tolerated.
  • Acne vulgaris: Cleanse the skin gently. After the skin is dry, apply 0.1% cream or gel to acne lesions once daily in the evening.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Do not combine tazarotene with medications or cosmetics that have a strong drying effect on the skin.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/11/2014

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