Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin Brand Name(s): Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin and Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin.


What is Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin used for?

Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin is commonly used  to treat melasma on the face. Melasma is a condition of dark patchy areas on the skin, especially on the cheeks and forehead. It sometimes occurs with hormone changes. This product contains 3 different kinds of medication. Hydroquinone is a reversible skin bleaching agent. Tretinoin is a retinoid that increases skin shedding. Fluocinolone is a medium strength corticosteroid that reduces swelling, itching, and redness.

This medication may improve your melasma, but it is not a cure. Continued exposure to some of the causes of melasma (e.g., sunlight, estrogen-type birth control hormones) may cause it to return.

How should I take Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Before using, apply a small amount of this medicine to an area of unbroken skin, and check the area within 24 hours for any serious side effects. If the test area is itching, red, puffy, or blistering, do not use this product and contact your doctor. If there is just mild redness, then treatment with this product may begin.

Before using, gently wash your face and neck with a mild soapless cleanser. Rinse and pat dry the skin.

Apply a thin layer of medication to the affected area, including about 1/2 inch (1.5 centimeters) of normal-appearing skin around the affected area, once daily 30 minutes before bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Rub the medication into the skin gently and completely. Do not bandage, cover, or wrap the area unless directed to do so by your doctor.

This medication may make the treated areas of skin more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater and wear protective clothing on the treated areas of skin when outdoors, even on cloudy or hazy days.

If you experience dry skin from using this product, you may use a skin moisturizer in the morning after washing your face. You may also use a moisturizer and cosmetics during the day while using this medication.

Avoid getting this product in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth. If you do get this medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water. If severe irritation occurs, seek medical attention promptly.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each night.

Since this drug is absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.

It may take up to 4 weeks to notice significant improvement. However, this medication is not recommended for long-term use (e.g., longer than 8 weeks) without stopping the medication for short periods. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after 4 weeks of treatment.

How do I store Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin is best stored in the refrigerator. To prevent drug damage, do not freeze. There may be different brands of Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Before using fluocinolone/tretinoin/hydroquinone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone, prednisone); or to vitamin A-related drugs (other retinoids such as isotretinoin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as sulfites), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma, open sores or broken areas of skin (especially on the face or hands), other skin conditions (e.g., eczema, psoriasis).

Too much bleaching of the skin might occur in some cases, resulting in an undesirable cosmetic effect in those with darker skin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Rarely, using corticosteroid medications for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Therefore, before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past few months.

Children may be more sensitive to the effects of too much corticosteroid medication. Though it is very unlikely to occur with corticosteroids applied to the skin, this medication may temporarily slow down a child’s rate of growth if used for long periods. However, it will probably not affect final adult height. Monitor your child’s height periodically.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. One medication in this product (tretinoin) has caused harm to an unborn baby when taken by mouth. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Since this drug is absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.

It is not known whether these drugs pass into breast milk when applied to the skin. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. Avoid skin-to-skin contact with your infant in areas where this product has been used.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin. Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Mild burning, stinging, redness, dryness, or acne may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blistering, skin cracking/shedding, “spider veins” (telangiectasia), stretch marks, other skin discoloration (besides melasma), “hair bumps” (folliculitis), blue-black darkening of the skin, numbness/tingling of hands/feet, increased pain/touch sensitivity.

Rarely, it is possible this medication will be absorbed from the skin into the bloodstream. This can lead to side effects of too much corticosteroid. These side effects are more likely in children and people who use this medication for a long time or over large areas of the skin. Tell your doctor right away if any of the following side effects occur: unusual/extreme tiredness, weight loss, headache, swelling ankles/feet, increased thirst/urination, vision problems.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: other medicated skin products (e.g., soaps, cleansers, skin medications, skin-drying cosmetics), hormone-based birth control products (e.g., birth control pills, hormone implants), cosmetic products or drugs that increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun (e.g., tanning products, tetracyclines, quinolones such as ciprofloxacin).

Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin?

Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin.

What is the dose of Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Melasma

Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) once a day, at least 30 minutes before bedtime


-The affected area(s) should be washed with a mild cleanser and dried before application of this drug.

-Patients should extend application of the cream to approximately 1/2 inch of normal appearing skin (surrounding each lesion), and then the cream should rubbed lightly and uniformly into the skin.

-Treatment should be discontinued once control is achieved.

Use: Short-term treatment of moderate to severe melasma of the face, in combination with sun avoidance measures (e.g., sunscreen use)

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-This drug is to be used topically, and should not be given orally, ophthalmically, or intravaginally.

-Moisturizers and cosmetics may be used on the affected area(s) during the day.

Storage requirements:

-When not in use, this drug should be kept in a refrigerator (2 to 8C).


-Patients should avoid sunlight exposure, and should be instructed to use an SPF 30 sunscreen and wear protective clothing during the day.

-Long-term/maintenance treatment should be avoided. Once patients achieve control of melasma, they may be switched over to other treatments; however, melasma usually recurs after discontinuation of this drug.

-Safety and efficacy of this drug have not been established in patients with Fitzpatrick Skin Types V and VI; these patients may develop excessive skin bleaching.


-Hypersensitivity and cutaneous reactions

-Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression, especially in patients receiving long-term therapy

Patient advice:

-Patients should be advised to avoid concomitant photosensitizing drugs.

-Patients should told to avoid concomitant use of medicated/abrasive soaps/cleansers, drying soaps/cosmetics, products with high concentrations of alcohol/astringents, and other irritant/keratolytic drugs.

-Patients should be instructed to contact their healthcare provider if hypersensitivity reactions or exogenous ochronosis occurs.

What is the dose of Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin available?

Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical Cream

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Fluocinolone + Hydroquinone + Tretinoin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: February 1, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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