Tazarotene is a prodrug and a member of the acetylenic class of retinoids. Following topical application, tazarotene undergoes esterase hydrolysis to form its active metabolite, tazarotenic acid. When treating acne tazarotene may be taken in conjunction with an oral antibiotic. Tazarotene has been shown in peer-reviewed double blinded studies to reduce: mottling and hyperpigmentation, sallowness, fine wrinkling and coarse wrinkling in sun damaged skin. Histological studies have shown that long term (greater than 1 year) use of Tazarotene is associated with a significant reduction in atypical melanocytes and keratocytes - cells considered to be precursors of skin cancer. Some studies have shown long term use of Tazarotene to be associated with increased collagen production and better organization of skin collagen bundles. Although the exact mechanism of tazarotene action is not known, studies have shown that the active form of the drug (tazarotenic acid) binds to all three members of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) family: RARa, RARb, and RARg, but shows relative selectivity for RARb, and RARg and may modify gene expression. It also has affinity for RXR receptors. Tazarotene is used to treat psoriasis, acne and sun damaged skin (photodamage). Tazarotene is marketed as Tazorac, Avage, Zorac, and Fabior. NCATS
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