What is tazarotene-topical, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

This medication was withdrawn from the US market on March 30, 2007, but it available on a very limited basis for restricted use. Women who would like to be considered for this medication should contact their doctor for an evaluation.

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.

What brand names are available for tazarotene-topical?


Is tazarotene-topical available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for tazarotene-topical?


What are the side effects of tazarotene-topical?

Side effects of Tazarotene are dry skin, redness, stinging and burning, irritation, itching, desquamation, and sun sensitivity.

What is the dosage for tazarotene-topical?

  • 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.

Which drugs or supplements interact with tazarotene-topical?

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

What else should I know about tazarotene-topical?

What preparations of tazarotene-topical are available?

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.

How should I keep tazarotene-topical stored?

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


Types of Psoriasis: Medical Pictures and Treatments See Slideshow


Tazarotene (Tazorac) is a topical medication prescribed to treat plaque psoriasis and acne vulgaris. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to using this supplement.

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Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO