Ammonium Lactate Topical : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Ammonium lactate is used to treat xerosis (dry or scaly skin) and ichthyosis vulgaris (a hereditary dry skin condition) in adults and children. Ammonium lactate belongs to a class of drugs called alpha-hydroxy acids. It works by increasing the hydration of the skin.

How should this medicine be used?

Ammonium lactate comes as a cream and lotion to apply to the skin. It is usually applied to the affected skin area twice a day. Apply ammonium lactate at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Apply ammonium lactate exactly as directed. Do not use more or less or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the lotion bottle well before each use to mix the medicine evenly.

To use ammonium lactate topical, apply a small amount of cream or lotion to cover the affected skin area and rub in gently.

This medicine is for use on the skin only. Keep ammonium lactate topical away from your eyes, mouth, and vaginal area, and do not ingest it.

If your skin condition worsens with treatment, contact your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using ammonium lactate,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ammonium lactate, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in ammonium lactate cream or lotion. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using ammonium lactate, call your doctor.
  • Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to natural or artificial sunlight on the affected skin area and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Ammonium lactate can make the affected skin area sensitive to sunlight.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply more cream or lotion to make up for the forgotten dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ammonium lactate topical may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • stinging (especially on cracked or broken skin)
  • skin redness, burning, or itching
  • skin irritation (especially on the face)
  • skin peeling
  • rash
  • dry skin

Ammonium lactate may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach.

In case of emergency/overdose

If someone ingests ammonium lactate, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has passed out or is not breathing, call your local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all your appointments with your doctor.

Don’t let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. If you still have symptoms after finishing your cream or lotion, call your doctor.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Lac-Hydrin

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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