Tazorac topical gel

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.


Approval Status:

Approved June 1997

Specific Treatments:

psoriasis, acne vulgaris

Therapeutic Areas

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General Information

Tazorac (tazarotene) 0.05% and 0.1% have been approved for the treatment of stable plaque psoriasis of up to 20 % of body surface area. The 0.1% gel has also been indicated for mild to moderately severe facial acne vulgaris. Tazorac will be available in 30g and 100g tubes.

Clinical Results

Tazorac showed treatment success in up to 70% of patients with stable plaque psoriasis when the gel was applied topically once a day. Tazorac gel showed rapid clinical improvement in plaque psoriasis and sustained a therapeutic effect for up to 12 weeks after treatment. Results from more than 1,400 patients found that up to 70% of patients with trunk limb plaque psoriasis and 60% with knee/elbow plaque psoriasis experienced treatment success, which was defined as good, excellent, or complete clearing of psoriasis. For treatment of common acne, the 0.1% gel demonstrated good to excellent efficacy in up to 70% of patients.

Side Effects

Tazorac has a well documented safety profile and is safe to use on most parts of the body including the face and scalp. The most frequently reported side effects consist of local irritation including itching, burning, stinging and erythema. Side effects were reported mild-to-moderate and dose related.

Mechanism of Action

Tazorac is a receptor-selective retinoid. The gel is thought to normalize epidermal differentiation, reducing the influx of inflammatory cells into the skin. Its topical delivery targets the skin where these processes occur. Synthetic retinoids are vitamin A analogs and are thought to play a role in skin cell differentiation and proliferation.

Additional Information

The aqueous topical gel is compatible with moisturizers and cosmetics. Psoriasis has been treated by oral retinoids but their side effects limited use to patients with severe disease. Other, earlier topical retinoids had been used to treat acne but had shown poor efficacy with psoriasis. Tazorac gel has been marketed outside the U.S. under the brand name Zorac.