Guide To Trifarotene (Aklief)

Trifarotene, which is often sold as the brand Aklief, is a prescription retinoid cream. It was first approved for use in 2019. Unlike some other products, this cream only needs to be applied once a day. During treatment with this medicine, some individuals could experience side effects, such as dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Patients should contact their doctor if their side effects are bothersome or persistent. 

This medication is among the common prescriptions for cystic acne treatment. Of course, some patients may want to try an over-the-counter retinol cream first, though these will not be as strong. Some individuals also use trifarotene cream as an acne scar treatment. Patients must understand this medication and discuss their options with their doctor to ensure that it is the best acne treatment for their needs.

How It Works 

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Trifarotene belongs to a class of medications known as selective retinoic acid receptor agonists. Similar to other retinoids, this medication binds to retinoic acid receptors. These receptors have three different isoforms. They are RAR-alpha, RAR-beta, and RAR-gamma. Other prescription retinoids target the first two isoforms. However, this medication targets RAR-gamma. Currently, evidence indicates that it is the only topical retinoid that targets the gamma isoform. RAR-gamma is the most common type of retinoic acid receptor in the skin. 

Thus, this is how this medication works so effectively in patients who use it. It helps with increasing the turnover rate of skin cells. Trifarotene can also improve skin texture and clear acne breakouts on the face and trunk. 

Continue reading to discover the details on the uses and benefits of this medication next.

Uses And Benefits 

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In the United States, trifarotene is approved to treat acne vulgaris in patients who are at least nine years old. This medicated cream is also approved in the United States and Europe as a designated 'orphan drug' to treat congenital ichthyosis. This rare condition is associated with skin dryness, scaling, and thickening. 

Other retinoic acid receptor agonists treat facial acne. However, studies have shown that trifarotene is the only one that is effective at treating both facial acne and acne that occurs on the trunk, including the back, shoulders, and chest. During clinical trials, patients who received trifarotene had a significant reduction in facial acne in two weeks. Additionally, trials showed that acne on the trunk saw these benefits in four weeks. 

Uncover the potential side effects of this medication next.

Potential Side Effects 

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Treatment with trifarotene could cause side effects for some patients. The most frequently reported side effects include skin irritation and itching where the patient applied the medication. Individuals could also develop a sunburn. This is because the medication increases sun sensitivity. Another side effect of this cream is redness at the application site. Some users have also experienced a burning or stinging sensation while applying this product. Patients should monitor their skin for changes and alert their doctor immediately if they develop severe skin redness. Rare side effects include skin discoloration, swelling, and pain around the application site. 

Individuals who are allergic to this medicine could notice hives and a rash. They should contact their doctor immediately if these symptoms are present. Doctors recommend that patients use moisturizer regularly to reduce the risk of side effects. The moisturizer may help minimize skin irritation and dryness. Generally, if skin irritation occurs during treatment, it is worse during the first month of treatment. Most patients experience a reduction in side effects as they continue to use the product. 

Get the details on precautions linked to this medication next.

Precautions To Remember 

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Before prescribing this medicine, doctors need to know the patient's entire medical history. In particular, patients must mention any history of skin conditions, including eczema. Patients who have had certain skin conditions may need to use a different dose of trifarotene. They may also require closer monitoring during treatment. Some individuals may need to use another medication. Patients should also let their doctor know about other health issues they may have. This medication is considered unsuitable for pregnant women. Patients who are breastfeeding are advised to use trifarotene for the shortest possible length of time and apply it to the smallest possible area of skin. When this cream is used to treat acne on the chest, breastfeeding patients should be careful to avoid using it on areas that the baby's mouth may touch. This cream should not be used on open wounds, eczema, or broken skin. 

This medication is intended for use once a day. Since it increases sun sensitivity, doctors recommend that it is applied in the evening. To apply this product, patients should wash and dry the treatment site. Next, they should apply a thin layer of cream to the area and completely rub it into their skin. The cream should not be applied on the lips, nose, or creases beside the nose. Unless instructed to do so by a doctor, patients should not bandage the treated area. Individuals should store this medication at room temperature and away from heat. They should avoid harsh cleansers and soaps, hair remover products, and any products that contain alcohol during treatment. They should also wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, though doctors recommend avoiding sun exposure and tanning beds.

Reveal the potential medication interactions next.

Potential Medication Interactions 

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Trifarotene has potential medication interactions that increase the risk of side effects. Patients should talk to their doctor about all of the medicines they use to reduce the risk of potential medication interactions. They should list their prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements. 

It is known to interact with eleven other drugs. Examples include aminolevulinic acid, isotretinoin, and porfimer. Interactions have also occurred with resorcinol, methoxsalen, methyl aminolevulinate, sulfur, and verteporfin. Many over-the-counter products use ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients can also cause interactions. Thus, patients should check the labels of all over-the-counter skin products before using them when they are on this medication.