Topical tretinoin is a generic prescription medication that’s applied to the skin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat acne in adults and certain children.
For more information about tretinoin’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about tretinoin:
- Drug class: retinoid
- Drug forms:*
- topical cream
- topical gel
- Brand-name versions:
- Retin-A Micro
Read on to learn about tretinoin and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
* Tretinoin is also available in oral capsule form. This form of the drug is used to treat certain cancers. This article focuses on topical forms of tretinoin.
As with all medications, the cost of tretinoin can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
To find out what the cost of tretinoin will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the cost of tretinoin.
How much does topical tretinoin cost with and without insurance?
The cost of tretinoin with or without insurance can vary. In general, costs are usually higher without insurance.
Your pharmacist can answer any questions you have about how much tretinoin costs, given your insurance coverage.
What’s the cost of tretinoin cream in various strengths (0.1%, 0.05%, 0.025%)?
The cost of tretinoin cream can vary by strength.
Keep in mind that other factors may affect the cost of tretinoin cream for you. These include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
Your pharmacist may be able to help determine what tretinoin costs are for you, based on the strength or form you use.
Note: Tretinoin cream is only available by prescription, even if you buy it online.
How do the prescription costs of topical tretinoin and Retin-A compare?
Retin-A is a brand-name form of tretinoin that comes as a cream or gel. Tretinoin is a generic* drug, and generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. But costs of generic tretinoin and Retin-A can vary, based on several factors. These factors include:
- your treatment plan
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
If you’d like to know how the costs of generic tretinoin and Retin-A compare, talk with your pharmacist. They can use your treatment plan and insurance coverage to give you a cost estimate.
* A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.
Topical tretinoin is available in the following brand-name forms:
- Retin-A Micro
A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of brand-name tretinoin products compare with the cost of generic tretinoin, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If your doctor has prescribed tretinoin, and you’re interested in using a brand-name form instead, talk with them. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.
Keep reading to learn more about ways to reduce long-term costs of tretinoin.
Getting a 3-month supply
You may be able to get a 90-day supply of topical tretinoin. If your insurance company approves it, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or insurance provider.
Using a mail-order pharmacy
Tretinoin may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need financial support to pay for tretinoin, consider looking into websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:
These sites can provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and tretinoin, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to you. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for tretinoin.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- Save money. Explore this article for tips about how to save money on prescriptions.
- More details. For details about other aspects of tretinoin, refer to this article.
- Information about acne. For more information about acne, see our dermatology and skin care hub. You can also refer to our list of related articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.