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 product also contains sunscreens to help prevent spots from returning due to sunlight or ultraviolet light exposure.
This medicine works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discoloration.
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, and wear protective clothing on the treated areas of skin when outdoors. This product contains a sunscreen, but it should not be used as a sunscreen for other skin that is not being treated for discoloration. Instead, apply a separate sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater to your normal skin.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
Tell 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 directed you to use 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 this product 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.
In the US -
Before using hydroquinone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to sunscreens; 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 having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
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 heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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