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Retin Side Effects

Common Retin Side Effects


The most commonly reported Retin side effects (click to view or check a box to report):

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (14)
Colitis Ulcerative (14)
Depression (12)
Pain (9)
Headache (8)
Crohn's Disease (8)
Intestinal Haemorrhage (7)
Anxiety (6)
Blood Cholesterol Increased (5)
Colitis (5)
Intestinal Obstruction (5)
Eye Swelling (4)
Emotional Distress (4)
Blood Triglycerides Increased (4)
Hypoaesthesia (4)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (4)
Swelling Face (4)
Pruritus (4)
Large Intestinal Ulcer (4)
Injury (4)

➢ More



If you or someone in your family has experienced a serious side effect to a health product, you are encouraged to report the experience to your health care professional (e.g. physician, pharmacist). You could also complete a copy of the side effect reporting form or report your side effect to FDA.

Side effects reports are analyzed to discover potential health product safety signals. Some important reactions may take an extremely long time to develop or occur infrequently. Continued monitoring of adverse reactions is thus essential to maintain a comprehensive safety and effectiveness profile of health products.

Retin Side Effects Reported to FDA

The following Retin reports list potential signals of serious risks and new safety information that were identified using the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).
FAERS is a database that contains information on adverse event and medication errors reports submitted to FDA by healthcare professionals (such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses and others), consumers (such as patients, family members, layers and others) and manufacturers.


The appearance of Retin on this list does not mean that FDA has concluded that the drug has the listed risk. It means that FDA has identified a potential safety issue, but it does not mean that FDA has found a causal relationship between the drug and the listed risk.
Pain, Alopecia, Injection Site Pain, Patella Fracture, Pain In Extremity, Arthralgia, Impaired Healing, Lower Limb Fracture
This is a report of a female patient (weight: NA) from COUNTRY NOT SPECIFIED, suffering from the following symptoms/conditions: NA, who was treated with Retin A (dosage: NA, start time: 201306), combined with:
  • Humira
  • Nexium
and developed a serious reaction and side effect(s). The consumer presented with:
  • Pain
  • Alopecia
  • Injection Site Pain
  • Patella Fracture
  • Pain In Extremity
  • Arthralgia
  • Impaired Healing
  • Lower Limb Fracture
which developed after the beginning of treatment. This case can indicate the possible existence of increased vulnerability to Retin A treatment in female patients, resulting in pain side effect.

Product Substitution Issue
This report suggests a potential Retin A Product Substitution Issue side effect(s) that can have serious consequences. A 54-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from US was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: NA and used Retin A (dosage: NA) starting NS. Soon after starting Retin A the patient began experiencing various side effects, including:
  • Product Substitution Issue
Drugs used concurrently: NA. Although Retin A demonstrated significant improvements in a number of clinically relevant cases, troublesome symptoms, such as product substitution issue, may still occur.

Pre-eclampsia, Exposure During Pregnancy
This Pre-eclampsia, Exposure During Pregnancy problem was reported by a health professional from US. A 29-year-old female patient (weight: NA) was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: acne. On 2012 this consumer started treatment with Retin-a (dosage: As Required, Topical). The following drugs were being taken at the same time: NA. When commencing Retin-a, the patient experienced the following unwanted symptoms/side effects:
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Exposure During Pregnancy
Although all drugs are carefully tested before they are licensed for use, they carry side effect risks. Some side effects, such as pre-eclampsia, may become evident only after a product is in use by the general population.

Pain, Paraesthesia, Skin Disorder, Swelling Face, Chemical Injury, Product Label Issue
This is a report of a 47-year-old male patient (weight: NA) from US. The patient developed the following symptoms/conditions: skin disorder,dry skin,prophylaxis and was treated with Retinol (dosage: Once Nightly,) starting Nov 25, 2012. Concurrently used drugs: NA.Soon after that, the consumer experienced the following side effects:
  • Pain
  • Paraesthesia
  • Skin Disorder
  • Swelling Face
  • Chemical Injury
  • Product Label Issue
This opens a possibility that Retinol treatment could cause the above reactions, including pain, and some male subjects may be more susceptible.


Skin Warm, Rash, Eye Swelling, Eye Irritation
A female patient (weight: NA) from US with the following symptoms/conditions: skin wrinkling started Retinol treatment (dosage: Dime, 1xday, Topical) on NS. Soon after starting Retinol treatment, the subject experienced various side effects, including:
  • Skin Warm
  • Rash
  • Eye Swelling
  • Eye Irritation
Concurrently used drugs: NA. This finding indicates that some female patients could be more vulnerable to Retinol.

Nasal Congestion, Productive Cough, Anosmia, Chapped Lips, Lip Pain, Heart Rate Decreased, Weight Decreased, Ageusia, Asthma
A 77-year-old female patient from US (weight: NA) experienced symptoms, such as: wrinkles and was treated with Retinol(dosage: Thumbnail Full, Bid, Topical). The treatment was initiated on Jul 04, 2012. After that a consumer reported the following side effect(s):
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Productive Cough
  • Anosmia
  • Chapped Lips
  • Lip Pain
  • Heart Rate Decreased
  • Weight Decreased
  • Ageusia
  • Asthma
Concurrently used drugs, which potentially could have contributed to side effect(s) or affected Retinol efficacy:
  • Atenolol
  • Lisinopril
  • Pravastatin


Headache, Nausea, Hypopnoea, Lethargy
In this report, Retinol was administered for the following condition: skin disorder,wrinkles.A 65-year-old female consumer from US (weight: NA) started Retinol treatment (dosage: Less Than Pea, 1xday,topical) on Sep 09, 2012.Sometime after starting the treatment, the patient complained of the following side effect(s):
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Hypopnoea
  • Lethargy
A possible interaction with other drugs could have contributed to this reaction: NA.Establishing a causal relationship between a specific drug and consumer's side effects is complex, but it is possible that in this report Retinol treatment could be related to the listed above side effect(s).

Acute Respiratory Failure
This is a report of the following Retinoic Acid side effect(s):
  • Acute Respiratory Failure
A 42-year-old male patient from COUNTRY NOT SPECIFIED (weight: NA) presented with the following condition: acute promyelocytic leukaemia and received a treatment with Retinoic Acid (dosage: NA) starting: NS.The following concurrently used drugs could have generated interactions: NA.This report suggests that a Retinoic Acid treatment could be associated with the listed above side effect(s).

Arthritis, Arthralgia
This Retin-a report was submitted by a 16-year-old female consumer from US (weight: NA). The patient was diagnosed with: NA and Retin-a was administered (dosage: NA) starting: NS. The consumer developed a set of symptoms:
  • Arthritis
  • Arthralgia
Other drugs used simultaneously: NA.Those unexpected symptoms could be linked to a Retin-a treatment, however establishing a potential drug-safety problem requires a more detailed clinical analysis.

Visual Acuity Reduced, Vitreous Floaters, Eye Disorder, Accidental Exposure
This is a report of a possible correlation between Retinol use and the following symptoms/side effect(s):
  • Visual Acuity Reduced
  • Vitreous Floaters
  • Eye Disorder
  • Accidental Exposure
which could contribute to an assessment of Retinol risk profile.A 65-year-old male consumer from UNITED STATES (weight: NA) was suffering from NA and was treated with Retinol (dosage: Head Of Pin Size, 1x, Topical) starting Jun 04, 2012.Other concurrent medications: NA.

Swelling Face, Product Label Issue, Sunburn, Skin Exfoliation
A 54-year-old female patient from UNITED STATES (weight: NA) presented with the following symptoms: skin wrinkling and after a treatment with Retinol (dosage: Tablespoon Daily Epidural) experienced the following side effect(s):
  • Swelling Face
  • Product Label Issue
  • Sunburn
  • Skin Exfoliation
The treatment was started on Apr 10, 2011. Retinol was used in combination with the following drugs: NA.This report could alert potential Retinol consumers.

Abdominal Wound Dehiscence, Diarrhoea, Crying, Inguinal Hernia, Rhinorrhoea, Gastrointestinal Disorder
In this report, a female patient from UNITED STATES (weight: NA) was affected by a possible Retinol Acetate side effect.The patient was diagnosed with NA. After a treatment with Retinol Acetate (dosage: NA, start date: Sep 15, 2011), the patient experienced the following side effect(s):
  • Abdominal Wound Dehiscence
  • Diarrhoea
  • Crying
  • Inguinal Hernia
  • Rhinorrhoea
  • Gastrointestinal Disorder
The following simultaneously used drugs could have led to this reaction:
  • Synagis
  • Ergocalciferol
  • Phytonadione
  • Vitamin E (herbal Oil Nos)
  • Pancreatin Triple Strength Cap
  • Polyethylene Glycol
The patient was hospitalized.The findings here stress that side effects should be taken into consideration when evaluating a Retinol Acetate treatment.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Blood Alkaline Phosphatase Increased, Intestinal Obstruction, Blood Cholesterol Increased, Blood Triglycerides Increased, Haemoglobin Decreased, Colitis Ulcerative, Depression, Intestinal Haemorrhage
This is a report of a male patient from UNITED STATES (weight: NA), who used Retin-a (dosage: NA) for a treatment of NA. After starting a treatment on Sep 22, 1998, the patient experienced the following side effect(s):
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Blood Alkaline Phosphatase Increased
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Blood Cholesterol Increased
  • Blood Triglycerides Increased
  • Haemoglobin Decreased
  • Colitis Ulcerative
  • Depression
  • Intestinal Haemorrhage
The following drugs could possibly have interacted with the Retin-a treatment
  • Accutane
The patient was hospitalized.Taken together, these observations suggest that a Retin-a treatment could be related to side effect(s), such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Blood Alkaline Phosphatase Increased, Intestinal Obstruction, Blood Cholesterol Increased, Blood Triglycerides Increased, Haemoglobin Decreased, Colitis Ulcerative, Depression, Intestinal Haemorrhage.

Atrial Fibrillation
This atrial fibrillation side effect was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from CANADA. A 64-year-old female patient (weight:NA) experienced the following symptoms/conditions: NA. The patient was prescribed Retin-a (dosage: 0.05% Cream Prn / %), which was started on Nov 02, 2011. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Vemurafenib (Date Of Last Dose Prior To Event: 09/apr/2012)
  • Prochlorperazine
When starting to take Retin-a the consumer reported the following symptoms:
  • Atrial Fibrillation
The patient was hospitalized. These side effects may potentially be related to Retin-a.

Neutropenic Sepsis
This is a Retin-a side effect report of a female patient (weight:NA) from UNITED STATES, suffering from the following symptoms/conditions: NA, who was treated with Retin-a (dosage:NA, start time: Mar 17, 2009), combined with:
  • Inderal
  • Docetaxel (Form: Vials; Dose Level : 75 Mg/m2 Permanently Discontinued)
  • Carboplatin (Dosage Reported As 6 Auc And Form: Vials, Permanently Discontinued)
  • Elavil
  • Allegra
  • Zantac
  • Fioricet
  • Avastin (Form: Vials, Dose Level :15 Mg/kg)
, and developed a serious reaction and a neutropenic sepsis side effect. The patient presented with:
  • Neutropenic Sepsis
which developed after the beginning of treatment. This side effect report can indicate a possible existence of increased vulnerability to Retin-a treatment in female patients suffering from NA, resulting in neutropenic sepsis.

Biliary Dyskinesia, Gallbladder Disorder, Pain
This report suggests a potential Retin-a Micro biliary dyskinesia side effect(s) that can have serious consequences. A 16-year-old female patient from UNITED STATES (weight:NA) was diagnosed with the following health condition(s): NA and used Retin-a Micro (dosage: Unk) starting Jan 14, 2009. Soon after starting Retin-a Micro the patient began experiencing various side effects, including:
  • Biliary Dyskinesia
  • Gallbladder Disorder
  • Pain
Drugs used concurrently:
  • Claritin (Unk)
  • Doxycyclin [doxycycline Hyclate] (Unk)
The patient was hospitalized. Although Retin-a Micro demonstrated significant improvements in a number of clinically relevant cases, troublesome symptoms, such as biliary dyskinesia, may still occur.

Large Intestinal Ulcer, Crohn's Disease, Colitis Ulcerative, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Intestinal Haemorrhage, Blood Cholesterol Increased, Depression, Blood Alkaline Phosphatase Increased, Blood Triglycerides Increased
This large intestinal ulcer problem was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from UNITED STATES. A male patient (weight: NA) was diagnosed with the following medical condition(s): NA.On Sep 22, 1998 a consumer started treatment with Retin-a (dosage: NA). The following drugs/medications were being taken at the same time:
  • Accutane
When commencing Retin-a, the patient experienced the following unwanted symptoms /side effects:
  • Large Intestinal Ulcer
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Colitis Ulcerative
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Intestinal Haemorrhage
  • Blood Cholesterol Increased
  • Depression
  • Blood Alkaline Phosphatase Increased
  • Blood Triglycerides Increased
The patient was hospitalized. Although all drugs are carefully tested before they are licensed for use, they carry potential side effect risks. Some side effects, such as large intestinal ulcer, may become evident only after a product is in use by the general population.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Dry Skin, Depression, Photosensitivity Reaction, Crohn's Disease, Blood Triglycerides Increased, Emotional Distress
This is a Retin-a side effect report of a female patient (weight: NA) from UNITED STATES. The patient developed the following symptoms/conditions: NA and was treated with Retin-a (dosage: NA) starting Jan 01, 1998. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Accutane
  • Effexor
  • Yaz
  • Accutane (40 Mg In Morning And 20 Mg At Night.)
  • Xanax
  • Accutane
Soon after that, the consumer experienced the following of symptoms:
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Dry Skin
  • Depression
  • Photosensitivity Reaction
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Blood Triglycerides Increased
  • Emotional Distress
This opens a possibility that Retin-a could cause inflammatory bowel disease and that some female patients may be more susceptible.

Fatigue, Laziness
A 80-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from UNITED STATES with the following symptoms: NA started Retinol treatment (dosage: Unk) on Mar 11, 2011. Soon after starting Retinol treatment, the consumer experienced several side effects, including:
  • Fatigue
  • Laziness
. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Magnesium Sulfate (Unk)
  • Thiamine Mononitrate (Unk)
  • Vitamin D (Unk)
  • Calcium (Unk)
  • Ascorbic Acid (Unk)
  • Prolia (60 Mg, Q6mo)
  • Levothyroxine Sodium (Unk)
  • Vitamin B-12 (Unk)
This finding indicates that some patients can be more vulnerable to developing Retinol side effects, such as fatigue.

Dyspepsia, Gallbladder Non-functioning, Cholecystitis Chronic, Psychological Trauma, Gastric Disorder, Pain, Emotional Distress, Hot Flush, Retching
This dyspepsia side effect was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from UNITED STATES. A 21-year-old female patient (weight:NA) experienced the following symptoms/conditions: acne.The patient was prescribed Retin-a (dosage: NA), which was started on Apr 01, 2007. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Tetracycline
  • Loestrin 1.5/30
  • Yaz (Unk)
  • Nuvaring
.When starting to take Retin-a the consumer reported symptoms, such as:
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gallbladder Non-functioning
  • Cholecystitis Chronic
  • Psychological Trauma
  • Gastric Disorder
  • Pain
  • Emotional Distress
  • Hot Flush
  • Retching
These side effects may potentially be related to Retin-a. The patient was hospitalized.

Colitis Ulcerative, Lip Dry, Blood Triglycerides Increased, Injury, Intestinal Obstruction, Depression, Large Intestinal Ulcer, Intestinal Haemorrhage, Blood Cholesterol Increased
This is a report of a male patient (weight: NA) from UNITED STATES, suffering from the following symptoms/conditions: NA, who was treated with Retin-a (dosage: NA, start time: Sep 22, 1998), combined with:
  • Accutane
and developed a serious reaction and side effect(s). The consumer presented with:
  • Colitis Ulcerative
  • Lip Dry
  • Blood Triglycerides Increased
  • Injury
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Depression
  • Large Intestinal Ulcer
  • Intestinal Haemorrhage
  • Blood Cholesterol Increased
which developed after the beginning of treatment. This case can indicate the possible existence of increased vulnerability to Retin-a treatment in male patients, resulting in colitis ulcerative side effect. The patient was hospitalized.

Intestinal Obstruction, Large Intestinal Ulcer, Depression, Blood Cholesterol Increased, Crohn's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colonic Stenosis, Injury, Intestinal Fistula
This report suggests a potential Retin-a Intestinal Obstruction, Large Intestinal Ulcer, Depression, Blood Cholesterol Increased, Crohn's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colonic Stenosis, Injury, Intestinal Fistula side effect(s) that can have serious consequences. A male patient (weight: NA) from UNITED STATES was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: NA and used Retin-a (dosage: NA) starting Sep 22, 1998. Soon after starting Retin-a the patient began experiencing various side effects, including:
  • Intestinal Obstruction
  • Large Intestinal Ulcer
  • Depression
  • Blood Cholesterol Increased
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colonic Stenosis
  • Injury
  • Intestinal Fistula
Drugs used concurrently:
  • Accutane
The patient was hospitalized. Although Retin-a demonstrated significant improvements in a number of clinically relevant cases, troublesome symptoms, such as intestinal obstruction, may still occur.

Condition Aggravated, Crohn's Disease
This Condition Aggravated, Crohn's Disease problem was reported by a consumer or non-health professional from UNITED STATES. A female patient (weight: NA) was diagnosed with the following symptoms/conditions: acne,crohn's disease. On Dec 01, 2010 this consumer started treatment with Retin-a Micro (dosage: NA). The following drugs were being taken at the same time:
  • Lialda
  • Imuran
When commencing Retin-a Micro, the patient experienced the following unwanted symptoms/side effects:
  • Condition Aggravated
  • Crohn's Disease
Although all drugs are carefully tested before they are licensed for use, they carry side effect risks. Some side effects, such as condition aggravated, may become evident only after a product is in use by the general population.

Blood Cholesterol Increased, Large Intestinal Ulcer, Injury, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colonic Stenosis, Colitis Ulcerative, Crohn's Disease, Intestinal Haemorrhage, Intestinal Fistula
This is a report of a male patient (weight: NA) from UNITED STATES. The patient developed the following symptoms/conditions: NA and was treated with Retin-a (dosage: NA) starting Sep 22, 1998. Concurrently used drugs:
  • Accutane
Soon after that, the consumer experienced the following side effects:
  • Blood Cholesterol Increased
  • Large Intestinal Ulcer
  • Injury
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colonic Stenosis
  • Colitis Ulcerative
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Intestinal Haemorrhage
  • Intestinal Fistula
The patient was hospitalized. This opens a possibility that Retin-a treatment could cause the above reactions, including blood cholesterol increased, and some male subjects may be more susceptible.

Eating Disorder, Treatment Noncompliance, Affective Disorder, Bipolar Ii Disorder, Suicide Attempt, Attention-seeking Behaviour, Borderline Personality Disorder, Mood Swings, Anxiety
A 17-year-old female patient (weight: NA) from UNITED STATES with the following symptoms/conditions: acne,depression,affective disorder started Retin-a Micro 0.04% Gel treatment (dosage: Apply To Face At Night) on NS. Soon after starting Retin-a Micro 0.04% Gel treatment, the subject experienced various side effects, including:
  • Eating Disorder
  • Treatment Noncompliance
  • Affective Disorder
  • Bipolar Ii Disorder
  • Suicide Attempt
  • Attention-seeking Behaviour
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
Concurrently used drugs:
  • Prozac
  • Lamictal
  • Lamictal
  • Seroquel Xr (400 Mg At 7 Pm)
  • Lamictal
  • Minocycline Hcl
The patient was hospitalized. This finding indicates that some female patients could be more vulnerable to Retin-a Micro 0.04% Gel.

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Keep Track of Side Effects

Note Your Observations

It is really important to keep of your symptoms, right from the time you start a new medicine. You can do it any way you prefer: in a notebook, in a computer file or using our online tool. You should also note down any other medicines you are taking at the same time, because there could be an interaction between these medicines.

Why Your Notes are Important

Your notes could be helpful in several ways:

  • You can use them to remind you of details that may alert your health care professional(s) to a problem
  • You will have a record to refer to in the future, in case you are ever prescribed the same medicine again

  • Log Form

    You can use the following log form to write down important information, like the date and time you experienced a side effect and your symptoms, how strong the symptoms were, and any other medicines you were using.

    Medicine Name and Dosage:
    Side Effects Scale Date & Time Other Medicine(s) or Treatment(s)
    Scale: 1 = very mild to 10 = very bad

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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    Retin Safety Alerts, Active Ingredients, Usage Information

    NDC0062-0165
    TypeHUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
    Proprietary NameRetin-A
    NameTretinoin
    Dosage FormCREAM
    RouteTOPICAL
    On market since19881030
    LabelerOrtho-McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Active Ingredient(s)TRETINOIN
    Strength(s)0.25
    Unit(s)mg/g
    Pharma ClassRetinoid [EPC],Retinoids [Chemical/Ingredient]

    More About Retin

    Side Effects reported to FDA: 82

    Retin safety alerts: 2014 2007 2006 2005 2002 2001

    Reported deaths: 3

    Reported hospitalizations: 24

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