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Trifarotene (On the skin)

Trifarotene (trye-FAR-oh-teen)

Treats acne.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to trifarotene.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • This medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not get it into your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you do, rinse the area right away with plenty of water. Do not use on skin areas that have cuts, scrapes, sunburn, or an itchy, scaly, red rash.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • To use: Gently wash your face with mild soap. Remove any makeup before applying the cream to the face. Rinse and pat your skin dry. Apply a pea-sized amount to lightly cover your face or upper body (including chest, shoulders, back). Wash your hands after applying the cream. You may apply a moisturizing sunscreen in the morning, and wear protective clothing while using this medicine. You can also use a cream or lotion to soften or moisturize your skin after you apply the cream.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless directed by your doctor.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use any other medicines on the treated skin areas without asking your doctor. Avoid using any skin care products that can dry or irritate your skin. These include harsh skin cleansers, hair removal products, soaps or cosmetics that cause dryness, or products that contain alcohol or astringents.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or if you have eczema, other skin problems, or sunburn.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Do not apply the cream directly to the nipple and areola to avoid direct exposure to the baby.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • This medicine makes your skin more sensitive to irritation and more likely to burn. Avoid exposing your skin to wind, cold weather, and sunlight, even on cloudy days. Do not use a sunlamp or tanning bed. Use a sunscreen or sunblock lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on a regular basis. Wear protective clothing when you are outside.
  • Avoid the use of waxing as a hair removal method on the skin treated with this medicine.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blisters, swelling, rash, or red, scaly, crusty skin
  • Severe skin itching, burning, redness, peeling, or pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild skin itching, peeling, stinging, burning, or dryness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 3/19/2020

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