Trifarotene Topical : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Trifarotene is used to treat acne in adults and children over 9 years of age. Trifarotene is in a class of medications called retinoids. It works by promoting the desquamation of the affected areas of the skin, unclogging the pores and preventing new pimples from forming under the skin.

How should this medicine be used?

Trifarotene comes as a cream to apply to the skin. It is usually applied once a day before going to bed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Use Trifarotene exactly as directed. Do not use more or less or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Trifarotene cream is only for use on the skin of the face (forehead, nose, each cheek, and chin) or upper body (upper back, shoulders, and chest). Do not get Trifarotene in your eyes, ears, mouth, corners along the nose, or vaginal area. Do not apply to areas of sunburn, cuts, abrasions, or eczema.

Trifarotene cream comes in a pump bottle with instructions for use. Read these instructions and follow them carefully. Gently clean the affected area and pat dry before application. Apply a thin layer of the cream to the affected skin on the face, chest, shoulders or back. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about how to use Trifarotene cream.

Do not use Trifarotene cream in conjunction with non-medicinal or medicinal cosmetics, abrasive products, or alcohol-based cleansers (for example, shaving lotions, astringents, and perfumes).

Your skin may become dry or irritated during the first 4 weeks of your treatment. If your skin itches, burns, or becomes irritated at any time during your treatment, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to use a moisturizer to help with dryness or to apply it less often.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

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 trifarotene,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Trifarotene, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Trifarotene cream. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, 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 have or have ever had eczema (a skin disease).
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using Trifarotene, call your doctor. If you are breastfeeding while using Trifarotene, apply the smallest amount to the skin and do not apply it directly to the nipple and areola (the colored area around each nipple).
  • Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light (tanning beds and sunlamps) and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Trifarotene can make your skin sensitive to sunlight or ultraviolet light.
  • Do not use hot wax to remove unwanted hair from the area you are treating with Trifarotene during your treatment with this medicine.

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 to make up for the forgotten dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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

  • dryness, pain, burning, stinging, peeling, redness, itching, or flaky skin at the treatment area

Trifarotene can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program ( or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

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).

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant 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.

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. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

If someone ingests Trifarotene, 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 use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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 every 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

  • Aklief®

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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