The efficacy and tolerability of tazarotene foam, 0.1%, in the treatment of acne vulgaris in 2 multicenter, randomized, vehicle-controlled, double-blind studies

J Drugs Dermatol. 2013 Apr;12(4):438-46.


Background: Tazarotene 0.1% gel and cream are effective topical treatments for acne. Tazarotene foam, 0.1% was developed to provide an alternative, safe, and effective formulation.

Objective: To evaluate efficacy and tolerability of tazarotene foam, 0.1% in adults and adolescents with acne vulgaris.

Methods: Two randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, parallel-group studies were conducted at 39 centers in the United States and Canada. The first study involved 744 participants and the second 742, aged 12 to 45 years, who were randomized to receive treatment with either tazarotene foam, 0.1% or vehicle foam once daily for 12 weeks. Lesion counts, Investigator's Static Global Assessments (ISGA), and Subject's Global Assessments (SGA) were evaluated at baseline and weeks 2, 4, 8, and 12. Tolerability was monitored throughout the study.

Results: At week 12 in both studies, treatment with tazarotene foam led to greater decreases from baseline in mean absolute and percentage change in lesion counts (noninflammatory, inflammatory, and total), greater proportion of participants with ≥2-grade improvement in ISGA score, and greater proportion of participants with ISGA score of 0 or 1 than vehicle treatment (P<.001 for all). Only application-site skin irritation and dryness were reported by >5% of participants in active treatment groups in both studies.

Limitations: The efficacy and tolerability of tazarotene foam were not compared directly with those of other formulations.

Conclusion: Tazarotene foam, 0.1% significantly reduced the number and severity of acne lesions after 12 weeks and had a safe and acceptable tolerability profile.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotinic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Acids / adverse effects
  • Nicotinic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Nicotinic Acids
  • tazarotene