The reference site for Tretinoin

Tretinoin, also known as all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), is medication used for the treatment of acne and acute promyelocytic leukemia.


Tretinoin is a topical (applied to the skin) form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself.

The Retin-A® and Avita® brands of tretinoin are used to treat acne. The Renova® brand of tretinoin is used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration, and to make rough facial skin feel smoother.


Brand Name(s): Avita; Retin-A;
Retin-A Micro; Renova; Retisol-A; Vitinoin
CAS nº: 302-79-4
(treh tih noyn)


Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to tretinoin and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

The FDA approved topical tretinoin in 1971. However, a prescription is required for this medicine.

Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Tretinoin is a derivative of Vitamin A and is the treatment of choice for comedonal acne, or whiteheads and blackheads.

The Retin-A® and Avita® brands of tretinoin are used to treat acne. The Renova® brand of tretinoin is used to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and mottled skin discoloration, and to make rough facial skin feel smoother. It is in fact the only topical medication that has been proven to improve wrinkles.

It works by increasing skin cell turnover promoting the extrusion of the plugged material in the follicle. It also prevents the formation of new comedones.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.

Dosage and using this medicine

It is important to use tretinoin topical exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Using more medicine or applying it more often than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and may increase side effects. Therefore, do not use this medication for longer than your doctor has prescribed.

Wash your hands before and after applying tretinoin. Before applying, clean and dry the skin area to be treated. If not, applying tretinoin topical to wet skin may cause skin irritation. If you use Renova®, wait at least 20 minutes after washing your face before applying a thin layer of the medication.

Do not wash the treated area for at least 1 hour after applying tretinoin topical.Also, try to avoid the use of other skin products on the treated area for at least 1 hour following application of tretinoin.

Applying an excessive amount of tretinoin gel may result in “pilling” of the medication. If this occurs, use a thinner layer of gel with the next application.

Furthermore, tretinoin topical should be used as part of a complete skin care program that includes avoiding sunlight and using an effective sunscreen and protective clothing.

Use this medication for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you think it is not working. It may take several weeks or months of tretinoin topical use before you notice improvement in your skin. If you are using tretinoin to treat acne, your condition may get slightly worse for a short time when you first start using the medication. Call your doctor if skin irritation becomes severe or if your acne does not improve within 8 to 12 weeks.

What special precautions should I follow?


It is important that you tell your doctor if you use any of the following medicines, which can make your skin more sensitive to natural and artifical sunlight: a diuretic (water pill) such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ®, HydroDiuril®), chlorothiazide (Diuril®), chlorthalidone (Hygroton®, Thalitone®), tetracycline (Sumycin®, Panmycin®, Robitet®), minocycline (Minocin®), doxycycline (Doryx®, Vibramycin®), demeclocycline (Declomycin®), an antibiotic such as lomefloxacin (Maxaquin®), sparfloxacin (Zagam®), ciprofloxacin (Cipro®), ofloxacin (Floxin®), a sulfa drug such as Bactrim®, Septra®, Cotrim®, and others, or chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), prochlorperazine (Compazine®), fluphenazine (Permitil®, Prolixin®), promethazine (Phenergan®, Promethegan®), perphenazine (Trilafon®), and others.

Also, do not use skin products that contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid unless otherwise directed by your doctor. These products can cause severe skin irritation if used with tretinoin topical.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect tretinoin topical. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without first informing your doctor.

Additionally, tretinoin topical is in FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, so please tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Furthermore, tretinoin topical passes into breast milk. Do not use tretinoin topical without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose.

Do not apply extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Other, less serious side effects are more likely to occur. Continue to use the medication and talk to your doctor if you have any of these side effects:

discolored skin

Nevertheless, side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If necessary, talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. However, tretinoin topical is not expected to cause overdose symptoms.

Product Images


Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of tretinoin that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.


Name: RETIN-A®
Strength(s): 0.01%
Imprint: RETIN-A GEL 0.01%
Manufacturer: ORTHO DERM.

Strength(s): 0.01%
Imprint: TRETINOIN GEL 0.01%

Strength(s): 0.02%
Imprint: RENOVA CREAM 0.02%
Manufacturer: ORTHO DERM.

Name: RETIN-A®
Strength(s): 0.025%
Imprint: RETIN-A CREAM 0.025%
Manufacturer: ORTHO DERM.

Strength(s): 0.025%
Imprint: TRETINOIN CREAM 0.025%
Manufacturer: ALPHARMA US

Strength(s): 0.025%
Imprint: TRETINOIN GEL 0.025%

Name: RETIN-A®
Strength(s): 0.025%
Imprint: RETIN-A GEL 0.025%
Manufacturer: ORTHO DERM.

Name: AVITA®
Strength(s): 0.025%
Imprint: AVITA GEL 0.025%
Manufacturer: BERTEK PHARM.

Name: RETIN-A®
Strength(s): 0.05%
Imprint: RETIN-A CREAM 0.05%
Manufacturer: ORTHO DERM.

Strength(s): 0.1%

Name: RETIN-A®
Strength(s): 0.1%
Imprint: RETIN-A CREAM 0.1%
Manufacturer: ORTHO DERM.

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