ammonium lactate (Amlactin, Geri-Hydrolac)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What is ammonium lactate topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ammonium lactate is an anti-itch topical medication formulated from 12% lactic acid and ammonium hydroxide. Ammonium lactate hydrates the outermost skin layer and promotes skin moisturizing for a prolonged time. Ammonium lactate also prevents keratinization of epidermal skin layer, which keeps skin smoother and hydrated for a longer time. The FDA approved ammonium lactate in April 1985.

What brand names are available for ammonium lactate topical?

Amlactin, Geri-Hydrolac, Lac-Hydrin, Lac-Lotion, LAC Cream, Al-12

Is ammonium lactate topical available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for ammonium lactate topical?


What are the side effects of ammonium lactate topical?

Side effects of ammonium lactate are stinging, burning, redness, skin peeling, and darkening of skin.

What is the dosage for ammonium lactate topical?

  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older: Apply to affected area(s) twice daily, rub in thoroughly.
  • Children under 2 years of age: Consult a doctor.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ammonium lactate topical?

Ammonium lactate should be used with caution with other topical agents if applied to same areas, due to a higher risk of sensitivity to sun exposure.

Is ammonium lactate topical safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies done on ammonium lactate to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

It is not known whether ammonium lactate enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about ammonium lactate topical?

What preparations of ammonium lactate topical are available?

Ammonium lactate 12% is available in cream and lotion forms. Cream is available in 280 grams (two 140 grams tubes) and 385 gram bottle. Lotion is available in 225 gram and 400 gram bottles.

How should I keep ammonium lactate topical stored?

Store ammonium lactate cream and lotion between temperatures 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).


Ammonium lactate (Amlactin, Geri-Hydrolac, Lac-Hydrin, Lac-Lotion, LAC Cream, Al-12) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of dry, itchy, scaly skin, and ichthyosis vulgaris. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information is provided.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/20/2019
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


Lac-Hydrin cream, lotion – Prescribing Information.