Tretinoin is the acid form of vitamin A and is a drug commonly used to treat acne vulgaris and keratosis pilaris. It is available as a cream or gel under the brand names Aberela, Airol, Renova, Atralin, Retin-A, Avita, Refissa, or Stieva-A . It is also used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), and is sold for this indication by Roche under the brand name Vesanoid.
Tretinoin is most commonly used as a form of acne treatment. Tretinoin is also a component of many commercial products that claim to be able to slow skin aging or remove wrinkles. Topical tretinoin is also used to treat and reduce the appearance of stretch marks by increasing collagen production in the dermis. In addition, tretinoin marketed as Vesanoid is also used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), also called acute myeloid leukemia subtype M3, usually together with other drugs, by causing the immature blood cells to differentiate (i.e. mature). RETIN-A is indicated for topical application in the treatment of acne vulgaris. The safety and efficacy of the long term use of this product in the treatment of other disorders has not been established.
Tretinoin is available as Generic Tretinoin Cream which is packaged in Tube 20 grams of 0.025%, 0.5% and 0.1% strengths.
The side effects of Tretinoin are given below:
In dermatological use:When used, dryness or increased sensitivity of the affected skin may occur. More sensitive of patients may also experience redness, scaling, itching, and burning. A gradual increase in the frequency and amount of tretinoin application is best, as this allows one's skin to adequately adjust to the drug. Patients should be careful to follow their physician's recommendations when beginning a round of treatment. Tretinoin Cream increases the risk of extreme sunburn; care should be taken (shade, sunscreen, etc.) to protect treated skin from overexposure to ultraviolet light.Because usage of tretinoin may cause thinning of the skin, it is strongly recommended that patients who are using the drug abstain from hair removal waxing.
In leukemia use:There is a unique complication of retinoic acid syndrome in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia. This is associated with the development of dyspnea, fever, weight gain, peripheral edema and is treated with dexamethasone. The etiology of retinoic acid syndrome has been attributed to capillary leak syndrome from cytokine release from the differentiating promyelocytes.
Teratogenicity: Tretinoin is a teratogen, and therefore can cause birth defects and tests have shown increases in fetal skull abnormalities in rats. Women who are or may be pregnant, or who are seeking to become pregnant, are therefore warned against using it. This teratogenic effect is caused by the interference of the exogenous retinoic acid with endogenous retinoic acid signaling, which plays a role in patterning the developing embryo. However the risks of topical tretinoin to the fetus seems to be limited.
Generic Retin-A Cream is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to Tretinoin or any of the other ingredients present in Generic Retin-A Cream.
In this case use of the product should be discontinued.
Generic Tretinoin Cream should be applied once a day, before retiring, to the skin where acne lesions appear, using enough to cover the entire affected area lightly.
If a reaction suggesting sensitivity or chemical irritation occurs, use of Generic Tretinoin Cream should be discontinued. Exposure to, sunlight,including sunlamps should be minimized. when using Tretinoin Cream and patients with sunburns should be advised not to use the product until fully recovered because of increased susceptibility to sunlight as a result of the use of tretinoin. Patients who may be required to have considerable sun exposure due to occupation and those with inherent sensitivity to the sun should exercise particular caution. Use of sunscreen products and protective clothing over treated areas is recommended, when exposure cannot be avoided. Weather extremes such as wind or cold also may be irritating to patients under treatment with Generic Tretinoin Cream
RETIN-A, (tretinoin) acne treatment should be kept away from the eyes, the mouth, angles of the nose, and mucous membranes. Topical use has been reported to cause severe local erythema and peeling at the site of application. If the degree of local irritation warrants, patients should be directed to use the medication less frequently, discontinue use temporarily, or discontinue using altogether.
Additional Info: Prescribing Information