Retin A is a brand name containing tretinoin, a carboxylic acid form of vitamin A. It’s also called all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Tretinoin is a topical retinoid of first generation and is used to treat various skin conditions like keratosis pilaris and acne vulgaris. It’s also used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia too.
Tretinoin is a drug of retinoids group and works by slowing down the growth of cells. Various uses of tretinoin include:
Remember not to use any drug or medication on your own and always get properly diagnosed by a doctor first and get professional advice regarding best treatment option for you, as every drug has its side effects too.
First precaution is: Don’t use tretinoin or any other drug without consulting your doctor. Several good practices and precautions before using Retin A include:
This drug isn’t safe for pregnant woman. As it absorbs easily through skin, pregnant women or those who may become pregnant should avoid handling it too. It’s not established if it’s passed along breast-milk. Consult your doctor if you’re breast-feeding your child before using Retin A.
Topical tretinoin can have several side effects and complications, especially for sensitive skin or for people suffering from any underlying disease. Common side effects of Retin A include:
These side effects are common during the initial 2 to 4 weeks of Retin A treatment and decrease gradually with continued use. Use a moisturizer to reduce the adverse affects if you are suffering from dry skin. If the side effects are severe and increase with usage instead of decreasing, discontinue the treatment and consult a doctor immediately. Some of the severe side effects include:
If you experience any of these side effects, or any non-listed ones, stop the usage immediately and contact a doctor. Rarely, a very serious allergic reaction can occur, which is possible with any medicine, even the safest ones. This needs urgent medical attention and medication to stop and control the reaction to avoid any serious complication. Symptoms of serious allergic reaction include:
If you experience these symptoms through any medicine, it means your body is allergic to it. You should visit a hospital immediately to avoid any further danger, as this type of reaction can be fatal, from Retin A but also from any sort of drug other than Retin A as well.
Any drug that is safe to use on its own can have dangerous results when mixed with any other drug or product. Therefore, when your doctor advices your Retin A, tell him all the medicines that you’re already using so that he can see if there is any possibility of drug interaction between tretinoin and any medicines that you’re already using. Maintain a list of all products and drugs you use, including both prescription and non-prescription ones along with the dosage you’re taking. Don’t change the dosage and frequency of any medicine without the approval of your doctor. Show this list to the doctor or pharmacist whenever you visit them and when they advise you use any drug. There can be numerous products and drugs that may interact with Retin A, some of them are:
Discuss with your doctor in detail regarding safety and interactions between all the drugs and products that you’re using. Some soaps and cosmetics can worsen your acne with or without interacting with Retin A. Prefer using the products that are non-acnegenic or non-comodogenic. Discuss with your doctor regarding safety of the products that you’re using. Remember, acne is not caused by dirt directly, therefore avoid vigorously or too often cleaning your skin with harsh chemicals as it may irritate it and even worsen acne.
This medicine can be harmful if swallowed orally. Symptoms of overdose include:
Contact a doctor in case of overdose or any reaction.
Tips for Retin A storage include:
Make sure you read the leaflet that comes with the medicine and study it thoroughly before using it.