Active Ingredients

Tazarotene – Effect, Application & Risks


The active ingredient tazarotene is a retinoid . The drug is usually used externally. It is applied locally in the form of a gel or ointment for the treatment of plaque-type psoriasis . The drug is equally referred to as tazarotene or tazarot .

What is Tazarotes?

The drug Tazarotene is a retinoid that has receptor-selective and topical properties. This is a special type of retinoid that belongs to a new pharmacological generation.

The active ingredient is primarily used in the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis. After absorption through the skin , the substance is metabolized into a metabolite called tazarotenic acid in a relatively short time. However, there is no great similarity in structure to vitamin A or other retinoids that have previously been used in therapy. These include, for example, acitretin , isotretinoin and etretinate.

Nevertheless, the active ingredient tazarotene is counted among retinoids with a so-called ethyne structure. Basically, tazarotene is sensitive to oxygen and other oxidizing agents as well as light and substances that react alkaline.

Pharmacological action

The drug Tazarotene works primarily by affecting the formation and growth of cells . The substance also has anti-inflammatory effects. However, the exact mechanism of action of tazarotene is not fully known according to the current state of medical research.

The drug tazarotene connects to the so-called retinoic acid receptor and initiates a modification of gene expression. The active ingredient also influences the differentiation of cells. As part of the treatment, care must therefore be taken to ensure that patients avoid direct and intensive UV radiation. Basically, the drug in Germany is both pharmacy and prescription.

Medical Application & Use

The drug Tazarotene is suitable for the therapy of various diseases, but it is mainly used to treat psoriasis. Gel preparations with different concentrations of the active substance exist for this purpose. These are intended for the topical therapy of small-scale, mild to moderate plaque-type psoriasis.

First of all, the individually appropriate concentration of the active ingredient in the gel must be determined together with the doctor treating you. Higher concentration gels are more likely to cause skin irritation than lower dose preparations. For example, reddened skin areas or itching are possible. However, the effect is stronger according to the higher dose and also sets in more quickly.

Before applying the gel, make sure that the affected skin areas are dry. If the gel is applied after a shower, the skin must be dried thoroughly. In the vast majority of cases, the Tazarotene gel is applied once a day before bedtime. It is important that only a thin layer is applied to the skin. It is also important to ensure that only the psoriatic skin areas are wetted with the gel. This prevents irritation of healthy or inflamed skin.

The gel must not come into contact with the eyes , and washing your hands is necessary after applying the drug. If the affected patients suffer from psoriasis in the area of ​​the hands, it is particularly important to ensure that the gel does not get into the face or eyes. If this does happen, immediately flush the eyes with a large quantity of cold water and, if necessary, consult a doctor.

Risks & side effects

A large number of undesirable side effects and symptoms are possible as part of therapy with the drug Tazarotene. These differ from patient to patient and vary depending on the individual case. The most common side effects are burning on the skin and reddened skin areas, itching and localized irritation.

In addition, rashes on the skin , scaling , contact dermatitis , pain and a worsening of the psoriasis are other possible side effects. In addition, sometimes inflammation of the skin and dry patches of skin occur.

Various interactions with other agents must be taken into account during treatment with a Tazarotene gel. It is therefore advisable to avoid drugs that irritate and dry out the skin. Simultaneous use with tazarotene should therefore be avoided.

In addition, there are some contraindications for which the drug Tazarotene should not be used. These include, for example, known intolerances to the substance tazarotene as well as exfoliative psoriasis and pustular psoriasis. Also, the drug should not be applied to the face or scalp.

Therapy with tazarotene lasts a maximum of twelve weeks, with no more than ten percent of the body surface being treated with the gel. Treatment with the drug Tazarotene should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding .

Following oral administration, the drug tazarotene exhibits a teratogenic effect. Animal experiments have shown that changes in the skeleton of fetuses have occurred after dermal application. If side effects or other symptoms occur during therapy with the drug Tazarotene, the doctor treating you or, in an emergency, a pharmacist should be consulted immediately.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.