The safety and efficacy of tazarotene gel, a topical acetylenic retinoid, in the treatment of psoriasis

Arch Dermatol. 1998 Jan;134(1):57-60. doi: 10.1001/archderm.134.1.57.


Objective: To determine the safety and efficacy of topically applied tazarotene gel in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriatic plaques.

Design: Two multicenter, double-blind, randomized studies of 6- and 8-week duration, with an 8-week follow-up in the second study.

Setting: Medical center outpatient dermatology services.

Participants: One hundred fifty-three adults with 2 bilateral target plaques on the trunk, legs, or arms.

Interventions: Vehicle gel or 0.01% and 0.05% tazarotene gel administered twice daily to 45 patients (study A), or 0.05% and 0.1% tazarotene gel administered either once or twice daily to 108 patients (study B).

Main outcome measures: Treatment success and plaque elevation, scaling, and erythema vs time.

Results: The 0.01% tazarotene gel showed minimal efficacy. Applications of 0.05% and 0.1% tazarotene gels administered once or twice daily, resulted in significant improvements in plaque elevation, scaling, erythema, and overall clinical severity as early as 1 week. Treatment success rates (defined as > 75% improvement from baseline) were 45% with 0.05% tazarotene gel vs 13% with vehicle gel after 6 weeks of treatment (P < .05; study A) and ranged from 48% to 63% with the various tazarotene treatment regimens after 8 weeks of treatment (study B). These improvements were evident at the 8-week follow-up. Treatment-related adverse effects were generally limited to mild or moderate local irritation and were less frequent with the treatment regimen administered once daily.

Conclusion: The 0.05% and 0.1% tazarotene gels demonstrated significant efficacy in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriatic plaques that persisted after cessation of treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology
  • Erythema / chemically induced
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Nicotinic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Nicotinic Acids / adverse effects
  • Nicotinic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Pruritus / chemically induced
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Retinoids / administration & dosage
  • Retinoids / adverse effects
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Safety
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Gels
  • Nicotinic Acids
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Retinoids
  • tazarotene