Hydroquinone is used to lighten the dark patches of skin (also called hyperpigmentation, melasma, "liver spots," "age spots," freckles) caused by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone medicine, or injury to the skin.
This medicine works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discoloration.
Follow all directions on the product package, or use as directed by your doctor. 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.
Apply this medication to the affected areas of skin, usually twice daily or as directed by your doctor. This medication is for use on the skin only. If it is used incorrectly, unwanted skin lightening may occur. 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.
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 and wear protective clothing on the treated areas of skin when outdoors.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after 2 months.
See also How to Use.
Mild burning, stinging, redness, and dryness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, remember that 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.
Stop using hydroquinone and tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blistering, skin cracking, blue-black darkening of the skin.
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.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using hydroquinone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; 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.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms after swallowing may include: shaking (tremors), seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another skin problem unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Different forms of this product have different storage temperatures. Consult your pharmacist or the product labeling for more information. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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