1 What is Avage?

Brand: Avage, Fabior, Tazorac

Generic: Tazarotene

Tazarotene is a retinoid that is used to treat acne as well as psoriasis. The exact mechanism of action of tazarotene is unclear. Studies show that this medication lessens the formation of pimples and psoriasis plaques.

This medicine is available in foam, gel, and cream.

2 What to Know Before Using

Tell to your doctor if you are allergic to Tazarotene or to any other medications. You should also inform your healthcare providers if you are allergic to foods, dyes, or animals.

Safety and effectiveness of this medicine have not been established in children and elderly.

Pregnancy category X - Do not use Tazarotene if you are pregnant or expecting a baby because this medication can cause fetal abnormalities.

There are no adequate studies whether Tazarotene can pass through breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication as drug interaction may occur when two or more drugs are being taken at the same time.

Tazarotene is contraindicated for patients with eczema, sunburn, and skin cancer.

3 Proper Usage

Use Tazarotene exactly as directed by your doctor. Excessive use of medication may cause skin irritation. This medicine is applied topically in the evening or at bedtime. Avoid contact in your eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, or even in open wounds. If this medicine accidently gets in these areas, rinse these areas thoroughly.

Directions to use:

  • Clean the affected area by washing it with mild soap and water. Pat it dry after cleansing.
  • Before applying the medication, wait at least 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Apply a small amount of the medicine to each affected area of the skin and massage it gently into the skin until it disappears.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage.
  • For Fabior™ foam application, dispense a small amount of foam into your palm. Apply the medication thinly to lightly cover the affected areas. Massage it gently into the skin until it disappears.
  • Wash your hands after applying the medication. Moisturizer may be used as necessary.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. However, if it is near for your next dose, skip the missed dose and start again to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Store the medication in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Keep out of reach of children. Do not keep expired medications.

4 Precautions to Take

Check with your doctor on regular visits to monitor your progress with the medication.

This medication may cause fetal abnormalities. To make sure you are not pregnant, start using this medication during a normal menstrual period. Contraceptives may also be used to keep you or your partner from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor immediately if you think you have become pregnant while using this medication.

This medication may seem to worsen your acne at first before it begins to improve in about 4 weeks. If your condition does not improve within 8 to 12 weeks, consult with your doctor. However, if you are using this medicine to treat psoriasis, scaly patches on skin may begin to improve in about 1 to 4 weeks but redness may take longer to improve. 

Direct sunlight exposure and windy areas should be avoided. Wear protective clothing and apply sun screen before going outdoors. In addition, use of tanning bed is not also recommended. 

Normally, your skin may become irritated while you use this medication. Stop using this medication if your skin becomes very red, dry, or puffy. Contact your doctor if severe irritation occurs.

Do not apply any topical medication that can irritate skin especially skin products that contains a peeling agent, alcohol, spice, limes, or salicylic acid. Check with your doctor before using topical medicines with Tazarotene.

Tell your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements by mouth while using this medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are several side effects that you may experience while using this medication. If any of these side effects occur, tell it to your doctor right away.

  • Severe Burning or stinging of the skin 
  • Changes in color of the treated skin
  • Deep grooves or lines in the skin
  • Severe dryness, itching, peeling, or redness of the skin
  • Pain or swelling of the treated skin
  • Skin rash (in patients with psoriasis only)

Less serious side effects:

  • Burning or stinging after application
  • Mild dryness, itching, peeling, or redness of the skin

Not all side effects are listed above. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professionals.