Tazorac tazarotene vs Isotretinoin Accutane

Name: Tazorac tazarotene vs Isotretinoin Accutane

What are Tazorac and isotretinoin?

Tazorac (tazarotene) is a topical acne and psoriasis medication. When applied to the skin, it affects the growth of skin cells and thereby reduces the formation of pimples and psoriasis plaques. It may affect growth of skin cells by affecting the action of genes that control production of skin cells. It also reduces inflammation. Tazorac was withdrawn from the U.S. market, but it is available on a very limited basis for restricted use. Patients who would like to be considered for this medication should contact their doctor for an evaluation.

Isotretinoin is an oral drug used for the treatment and prevention of severe acne. Severe acne causes permanent scarring of the skin. The inflammation is caused in part by an increased secretion of sebum (oily substance) from glands in the skin (sebaceous glands). The sebum provokes inflammation, and the inflammation resolves (heals) with the formation of a scar (keratinization). The exact mechanism of action of isotretinoin is not known. It may reduce acne by reducing the secretion of sebum. If less sebum is secreted it is likely that there will be less inflammation and keratinization.

Are Tazorac and isotretinoin safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?


  • Tazorac should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or women who may become pregnant.


  • Isotretinoin is harmful to the fetus and therefore should not be used during pregnancy. Women of childbearing age must have two negative pregnancy test results before therapy is started, and a pregnancy test must be conducted during each month of therapy. Two effective forms of birth control must be used during therapy, and pregnancy should be avoided one month before, during, and at least one month after stopping isotretinoin.
  • It is not known whether isotretinoin is secreted in breast milk, but because of its potentially serious side effects, it should not be used by nursing mothers.
From Tips to Better Manage Your Migraine Start Now


Tazorac (tazarotene) and Accutane (isotretinoin) are medications used to treat acne. Tazorac is also used to treat psoriasis. Tazorac is a topical medication (applied to the skin) and isotretinoin is taken orally. Tazorac is available in the U.S. on a very limited basis for restricted use.

Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes

  • Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More

    What's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!...

  • Acne (Pimples) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ

    Acne is the most common skin disorder in the world. If you suffer from acne, you are not alone and many treatment options are...

  • Picture of Acne Vulgaris Nodulocystic

    Inflammatory nodules, cysts, and pustules (left). See a picture of Acne Vulgaris Nodulocystic and learn more about the health...

  • Picture of Acne

    Exactly what causes acne? Acne develops when cells and natural oils begin to block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. See a...

  • Adult Acne (Pimples) Causes and Treatments

    Acne (pimples) is a skin condition that blocks pores. Get answers on causes, solutions and treatments for this skin condition...

  • Acne 101: Types, Best Treatments, Medication, Cystic Acne

    What is the best treatment for acne vulgaris? Can food choices influence acne? How can you get rid of blackheads? Learn why it's...

  • Acne Care Pictures: Skin Care Dos and Don'ts

    Explore quick acne cover-ups, dos and don'ts. See solutions on how to best handle pesky pimples and remedies to avoid....

  • How to Get Rid of Acne: Skin Care Tips

    Want to know how to get rid of blackheads? Discover tips on clogged pores, sunscreen SPF and how to remove makeup for different...

Treatment & Diagnosis

Symptoms & Signs FAQs & Doctor's Views
    • Acne: Facing Adult Acne -- Brandith Irwin, MD
    • Skin FAQs
    • Acne FAQs
    • How to Get Rid of Acne
    • Accutane (isotretinoin) for Acne linked to birth defects, depression and suicide


Acne Care Resources
  • Acne Medications That Work
  • Birth Control for Acne
  • Protect Your Skin From More Damage
Featured Centers
  • How Could You Live Better With Migraine?
  • Not Being Defined by Your Cancer
  • Track Cold & Flu in Your Area
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
  • Frequent Constipation?
  • Greater Food Accessibility
Reviewed on 1/8/2018 References FDA Prescribing Information