What is Tazorac Cream?


Tazorac Cream is the brand name for Tazarotene (generic name). It is also marketed as Avage, and Zorac. It is a retinoid, a type of prescription drug for the skin produced and marketed by Allergan. Tazorac Cream has performed will in studies as an effective treatment for acne. It reduces both pus-filled and red pimples, whiteheads and black-heads. Side effects have been reported to be itching, peeling, burning, dry skin, and redness. Allergan states that most people will see improvement in as early as four weeks, and treatment lasts about twelve weeks.

Allergan Reputation

Allergan is a sixty-year-old, multinational health care company with revenues around $3 billion per year. It is also the producer of the very popular Refresh Eye Drops, Lap-Band and Botox. It has over twenty highly popular, FDA approved drugs for eye-care, skin-care and diverse conditions. They received FDA approval of Tazorac Cream in 2000.

A Pro-Drug

Tazorac Cream is one of a group of drugs called “pro-drugs,” which is a medication supplied in a chemically inactive form, becoming active only after it enters the body. Since this is a topical cream, it becomes active after the skin absorbs it.


Allergan recommends highly that you use moisturizer before using Tazorac Cream, to always use a sunscreen of a minimum SPF of fifteen, not to use the cream if you are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant. It should not be taken if you are currently also taking drugs such as tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones and phenothiazines that increase sensitivity to sunlight. The cream should not be used if you have a skin condition such as sunburn or eczema.

Formal Studies

Dr, Philips of WebMed reports on a 2000 study of Tazorac Cream in a double-blind, randomized, vehicle controlled study, with over 560 subjects over six months, that those that used Tazorac were, “significantly more effective” than the control group in improving skin conditions.

Informal Studies

Informal reviews of Tazorac Cream abound on the Internet. Sites such as AskAPatientcontain mixed reviews of subjects that had positive and negative experiences. Out of 219 reviews, the drug scored 3.7, between “Satisfied” and “Somewhat Satisfied.” At Acne.org, it averaged 3.3 (out of five) out of nearly 700 reviews.

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