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- If you are using tazarotene to treat acne or to reduce facial wrinkling and discoloration, first wash the skin with water and a mild soap and pat dry with a soft towel. If you are using tazarotene to treat psoriasis, it is not necessary to wash the affected skin first, but if you have washed the skin, pat dry before applying tazarotene.
- Apply a thin layer of cream, foam, or gel to the affected skin. If you are using this medication to reduce facial wrinkling and discoloration, you may apply it to your entire face, including your eyelids. Gently and thoroughly massage it into the skin. Be careful not to get tazarotene in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Do not cover the affected area with any bandages, dressings, or wrappings.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after you finish handling the medication.
Before taking tazarotene,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tazarotene, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in tazarotene cream, foam, or gel. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: chlorothiazide (Diuril); chlorpromazine; chlorthalidone (in Clorpres, Edarbyclor, Tenoretic); fluphenazine; fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), and ofloxacin; hydrochlorothiazide (Microdize, in Dyazide, in Hyzaar, in products with HCT suffix, others); indapamide; methyclothiazide; metolazone (Zaroxolyn); perphenazine; prochlorperazine (Compro, Procomp); sulfonamide medications such as co-trimoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), and sulfisoxazole (in erythromycin ethyl succinate and sulfisoxazole acetyl); tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline (Monodox, Oracea, Vibramycin, others), tetracycline (Achromycin V, in Pylera), and tigecycline (Tygacil); thioridazine; trifluoperazine; and vitamin A supplements. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- if you are also using benzoyl peroxide (Benzaclin, Duac, Epiduo, others), apply it a different time of day than when you apply tazarotene.
- tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had skin cancer, or if you have or have ever had eczema or any other skin condition, or if your skin is unusually sensitive to sunlight.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You should not become pregnant while using tazarotene. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you can become pregnant, you will need to have a negative pregnancy test within 2 weeks before starting treatment. You should start using tazarotene during your menstrual period, to be sure you are not pregnant. If you become pregnant while using tazarotene, stop using tazarotene and call your doctor immediately. Tazarotene may harm the fetus.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to real and artificial sunlight (tanning beds and sunlamps) and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, especially if you sunburn easily. Also avoid prolonged exposure to cold or wind. Tazarotene may make your skin sensitive to sunlight or extreme weather.
- tell your doctor about all skin or hair care products that you use, including soaps, shampoos, permanent wave solutions, cleansers, moisturizers, and cosmetics. Many skin care products can irritate your skin, if you use them with tazarotene, especially those that are harsh, dry out the skin, or contain alcohol, spices, or lime rind. If you have been using these products, your doctor may want you to wait before you begin using tazarotene. Ask your doctor to recommend products that will not irritate your skin.
- be careful not to get tazarotene in your eyes. If you do get tazarotene in your eyes, wash with plenty of water.
- do not use hot wax or electrolysis to remove unwanted hair from the area that you are treating with tazarotene during your treatment with this medication.
- irritation or swelling of the eyelid or eye
- chapped or inflamed lips
- swelling in arms or legs