Chinese Japanese Germany Korea

Retinoic acid

Dermatology drugs Clinical application Physicochemical property Pharmacological action Pharmacodynamics Pharmacokinetics Vitamin A acid medicine The indications Usage dosage Adverse reaction Precautions Drug interaction Uses Indications and Usage Mechanisms of Action Pharmacokinetics Drug Interactions Adverse reactions Warnings and Precautions
Retinoic acid
Retinoic acid structure
Chemical Name:
Retinoic acid
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Retinoic acid Properties

Melting point:
180-181 °C(lit.)
Boiling point:
381.66°C (rough estimate)
1.0597 (rough estimate)
refractive index 
1.4800 (estimate)
storage temp. 
Practically insoluble in water, soluble in methylene chloride, slightly soluble in ethanol (96 per cent).
Water Solubility 
Light Sensitive
Store Dry in Freezer at -20°C for up to 1 year; in Solution at -20°C for up to 3 Months.
CAS DataBase Reference
302-79-4(CAS DataBase Reference)
EWG's Food Scores
NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
all-trans retinoic acid; ATRA; retina; Retin-A; retinoic acid; tretinoin; vitamin A acid
Proposition 65 List
All-trans Retinoic Acid
EPA Substance Registry System
Retinoic acid (302-79-4)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
Signal word  Warning
Hazard statements  H361-H302
Precautionary statements  P301+P312+P330-P201-P280-P301+P312a-P308+P313-P405-P501a
Hazard Codes  T,Xn,N
Risk Statements  22-63-38-20/21/22-51/53
Safety Statements  53-26-36/37/39-45-36/37-61-24/25
RIDADR  3249
WGK Germany  3
RTECS  VH6475000
HazardClass  6.1(b)
PackingGroup  III
HS Code  29362100
Toxicity LD50 (10 day) in mice, rats (mg/kg): 790, 790 i.p.; 2200, 2000 orally (Kamm)

Retinoic acid price More Price(17)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich PHR1187 Tretinoin Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material 302-79-4 3x100mg $99.1 2020-08-18 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 1674004 Tretinoin United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard 302-79-4 5x30mg $366 2020-08-18 Buy
TCI Chemical R0064 Retinoic Acid >98.0%(T) 302-79-4 1g $120 2020-06-24 Buy
TCI Chemical R0064 Retinoic Acid >98.0%(T) 302-79-4 5g $409 2020-06-24 Buy
Alfa Aesar 044540 Retinoic acid, 98% 302-79-4 0.5g $74.9 2020-06-24 Buy

Retinoic acid Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Dermatology drugs

Retinoic acid(Tretinoin) is commonly used in dermatology drugs, which is the department of vitamin A (Victoria methanol) metabolic intermediates.It mainly affects the growth of bones and epithelial metabolism, can promote epithelial cell proliferation and updates, and can inhibit the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes, so hyperkeratosis can be back to normal. Therefore many complete or incomplete keratosis, hyperkeratosis of diseases have a certain therapeutic effect, treat a variety of skin diseases. The use of the drug can penetrate topical skin quickly, enable significantly increased epithelial cell turnover. This class of drugs has strong and rapid inhibition on the secretion of the sebaceous glands, can reduce sebum secretion. In addition, the product also has anti-tumor, promote wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects.

Clinical application

Retinoic acid is mainly used in the treatment of psoriasis, ichthyosis, follicular keratosis, acne, lichen planus, verrucous epidermal nevus, impetigo, vitiligo, lichen psoriasis, the face of pityriasis alba, etc. In addition, the drugs also have some preventive effect on skin cancer.
Tretinoin Cream
Tretinoin Cream

Physicochemical property

Retinoic acid is a yellow needle crystal, with a similar smell of vitamin acetate. Soluble in methanol, ethanol, acetone, chloroform, dichloromethane , also in vegetable oil and fatty. In case of light, it is thermal instability, suck up moisture in the air, polymerization and metamorphism in water. The melting point of all trans-vitamin A acid is 182~180°C, the melting range of which is mixed with a small amount of isomers is 170~190°C.
Tretinoin structure
Tretinoin structure

Pharmacological action

Retinoic acid can induce epidermal hyperplasia, and improve the granular layer and the cell layer thickness.It can influence the silk protein process and the formation of cross-linked film and promote the differentiation of epidermal granular layer cells in the late stage of the differentiation of the epidermal cells by affecting K10, K1 keratin solution. This product can significantly inhibit the formation of experimental acne, prevent and eliminate acne lesions. Tretinoin also affect melanocyte cell melanogenesis , it has more than a number of functional points, having inhibitory effect on the activity of Tyrosine hydroxylase, dopa oxidase and two hydroxyindole oxidase three catalyzing enzyme, so as to reduce the formation of melanin, reduce skin pigmentation. It has no effect on the normal black prime cellular tyrosinase activity and black pigment composition.


Tretinoin can increase the cell nucleus division and epidermal cell turnover, form of the stratum corneum cell adhesion, and easy to fall off. It can remove the existing acne, while inhibiting the formation of new acne, hair follicle epithelial replacement can prevent the blockage of the plug. The synthesis of keratin is also inhibited, which can affect the metabolism of epithelial cells. It has the effect of promoting the proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells, and the dissolution of keratinocytes.


External use has a small amount of skin absorption, large area of application of the increase in absorption. About 5% of the amount of external use urine. This product is absorbed well, the blood can reach the concentration peak after 3 hours, blood concentration can reach 0.3~0.5mg/ml, after oral administration of 1 mg/kg. After oral absorption, it is widely combination with plasma protein and has half-life of 0.7 h in a mean elimination. After a single oral dose of 40mg, blood drug concentration can be up to the source metabolic level in 7~12 hours. Multiple oral administration has not seen in vivo accumulation, but the blood concentration of the drug is significantly decreased, which may be due to the induction of cytochrome P450 enzymes, and the elimination of the rate of increase and bioavailability. It mainly used in the liver metabolism, which is metabolites of glucose acid esters. 60% of metabolites is by renal excretion, and can also be excreted by bile but metabolite half-life is longer.

Vitamin A acid medicine

Vitamin A acid medicine is a kind of natural or synthetic existence with vitamin A activity of retinol (retinol) derivatives. The drug discovery is regarded as a new milepost for treatment of skin diseases and cosmetic pharmacology. In the last 20 years, the application of the dimension A acid has made great progress in the treatment of many skin diseases. So far, there have been 2500 retinoic acid derivatives. According to its development process and chemical structure, they can be divided into three generations: the first generation is class of non aromatic retinoid, tretinoin and isotretinoin as the representative. The second generation is class of single aromatic A acids, etretinate and acitretin as the representative; the third generation is class of aromatic dimensional A acid, aromatic methyl ethyl acetylene, adapalene and vitamin A acid ethyl ester as the represented.
use of of vitamin A in skin diseases
use of of vitamin A in skin diseases

The indications

Used in the treatment of acne vulgaris, especially the blackhead acne lesions, senile, fluorescent or drug skin atrophy, ichthyosis and various abnormal keratinization and pigment excessive calm skin disease, and psoriasis.

Usage dosage

(1) ointment: use 0.1% ointment for the other skin lesions and 0.05% ointment for acne skin lesions in the topical application. Clean the skin with warm water after one time every night.
(2) gel: apply to the affected area. At the beginning of treatment , it can be taken one time every two days or every three days. Afterwards smear one time every night.

Adverse reaction

This product may cause skin irritation symptoms such as burning, erythema, swelling, desquamation, crusting, pigment increase or decrease, may make the skin lesions more obvious, but also showed that the drug is working, not aggravated illness. Most of the skin can be adapted and tolerated, the phenomenon can be gradually disappeared. If irritation persists or increased, you can take intermittent or suspended medication.


(1) This drug is contraindicated in pregnant women and patients with the allergic to the Tretinoin, the A derivative of vitamin A, acute or subacute dermatitis, eczema, skin diseases.
(2) Allergic caution.
(3) Women should stop breastfeeding during the period of the nursing period. Women of childbearing age are prohibited during the period of pregnancy .Children with caution.
(4) The product should avoid contacting with eyes and other mucous membranes (e.g., mouth, nose, etc.). Do not use in skin of wrinkling location and skin ulceration.
(5) The site of using medicine, appearing the things such as burning, itching, redness, etc. should discontinue medication, and the local is washed clearly. Consult the doctor if necessary.
(6) For the treatment of acne, the first few weeks ache can be temporarily intensified, but should continue to treat more than 6 weeks to reach the maximum effect.
(7) The product should not be used in large areas, the daily dosage should not exceed 20g.
(8) During the course of medication, do not use other drugs ,which can cause irritation and damage to skin, cosmetics and cleaning agents, so as not to aggravate the skin reaction, resulting in increase in drug absorption and cause systemic adverse reactions.
(9) The sun can accelerate Tretinoin decomposition and stimulate heavier to the skin. Animal experiments suggest that Tretinoin can enhance the ability of ultraviolet radiation, so the product is most appropriate in the evening and bedtime application, the treatment process should avoid the sun, or the use of shading measures.

Drug interaction

(1)Retinoic acid combining with light sensitive drugs can increase the risk of photosensitiveness.
(2)Retinoic acid combining with soap and detergents, containing keratolytic agents (such as peroxy benzoic acid, Resorcinol, salicylic acid, sulfur,etc), ethanol preparation, isotretinoin can aggravate irritation or dryness to skin, and therefore must be used with caution.
(3) Retinoic acid combining with sago cimetidine, cyclosporine and diltiazem, verapamil and ketoconazole, can cause an increase in the blood concentration of the drug, and may lead to retinoic acid poisoning.
(4 Retinoic acid combining with pentobarbital, rifampicin, phenobarbital, can cause the blood concentration of the product decreasing.
(5) The product will affect the liver cytochrome P450 enzyme system, resulting in changes in blood concentrations of the drug.
(6)Taking drugs oryzanol, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 with Tretinoin, can make headache relieved or disappeared, because of adverse reactions of the drug.
There are Informations on Common tretinoin in the Department of Dermatology,incluing the pharmacological effects , pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, indications, drug interactions, and adverse reaction of the drug, these were edited by Yuri Huang in the chemcialbook (2015-09-24).


(1) Applies to abnormal tyshiyongyupe of acne, fish phosphorus disease and abnormal psoriasis.
(2) Resistance to abnormal skin drugs.
(3) Tretinoin mainly affects the growth of bones and epithelial metabolism, can promote epithelial cell proliferation and updates, and can inhibit the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes, so hyperkeratosis can be back to normal. Therefore many complete or incomplete keratosis, hyperkeratosis of diseases have a certain therapeutic effect, treat a variety of skin diseases. Tretinoin is mainly used in the treatment of psoriasis, ichthyosis, follicular keratosis, acne, lichen planus, verrucous epidermal nevus, impetigo, vitiligo, lichen psoriasis, the face of pityriasis alba, etc.

Indications and Usage

Retinoic acid is a commonly used dermatological drug and an intermediate product in bodily vitamin A (dimethyl alcohol) metabolism. It has a similar odor to that of vitamin A acetate. It is easily soluble in methanol, ethanol, acetone, chloroform, dichloromethane, and it is also soluble in vegetable oil and fats. It is instable when in contact with light and heat, hygroscopic in air, and polymerizes and metamorphosizes when in contact with water.
Retinoic acid also anti-tumor, wound-healing, and infection-resisting effects. It is mainly used clinically to treat psoriasis, hair follicle keratosis, acne, lichen planus, verrucous epidermis nevus, ureophora, vitiligo, pityriasis rosea, and facial pityriasis simplex, especially blackhead skin lesions, and senile, sun-induced, or drug induced skin atrophy, as well as various keratosis abnormalities and hyperpigmentation diseases. In addition, it also has certain preventative effects against skin cancer. Retinoic acid can significantly inhibit experimental acne breakouts.

Mechanisms of Action

Retinoic acid mainly affects bone growth and epithelium metabolism, it can promote epithelium cell growth and renewal, and it can inhibit keratinocyte growth and differentiation to correct hyperkeratosis. Thus, it has certain curative effects on diseases related to keratinization, hypokeratinization and hyperkeratinization. A localized application can penetrate the skin very quickly and cause significant growth in epithelial cells. Retinoic acid has a strong and rapid inhibiting effect on sebaceous glands and can reduce sebum secretion. Retinoic acid promotes epidermal growth, thickens the stratum granulosum and stratum spinosum, and affects K1 and K10 keratinysis in late stage epidermal cell differentiation to influence the siloxin to silymeric protein process and cross-linked coating formation, thus promoting epidermal granulosa cells to differentiate towards the cuticle layer. It regulates follicular sebaceous gland epithelium keratinization abnormalities to remove keratin plugs, thus being able to prevent and remove acne lesions, and follicular epithelial renewal can also prevent keratin plugs and acne formation. In addition, retinoic acid can also affect melanogenesis of melanocytes with a multi-site effect, and it can inhibit the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase, dopa oxidase, dihydroxyl indole oxidase, and other type-three catalytic enzymes, thus lowering the formation of melanin and reducing hyperpigmentation. It has not impact on normal human melanocyte tyrosinase activity and melanin content.


A small amount is absorbed by the skin through external use, and absorption increases as application area increases. Approximately 5% of the externally applied amount is excreted through urine. This product is well-absorbed when taken orally and reaches peak blood concentration in 3 hours. With an oral dosage of 1mg/kg, blood concentration can reach 0.3-0.5 mg/ml. After oral absorption, it will bind universally with serum protein, and its average clearing half-life is 0.7 hours. After a single 40mg dose, blood concentration reaches its endogenous metabolism level in about 7-12 hours. Multiple oral doses do not appear to accumulate in the body, but blood concentration will noticeably decrease, possibly due to the induction of cytochrome P450, thus causing the clearing rate to increase and bioavailability to decrease. It is mainly metabolized in the liver, and its metabolite is esterified glucuronic acid. 60% of the drug is excreted by the kidneys, it can also be excreted through bile, and its metabolite’s half-life is longer than that of the drug itself.

Drug Interactions

Adverse reactions

May cause skin irritations such as a burning sensation, erythema, swelling, desquamation, scabbing, or change in pigmentation. May cause skin lesions to become more obvious, but this means that the drug is taking effect, and not that the condition is worsening. Mostly tolerated or tolerable on the skin, and irritation may subside gradually. If irritation continues or worsens, use periodically or cease use.

Warnings and Precautions

Chemical Properties

Yellow-Orange Powder




keratolytic, antiacne, antineoplastic




Physiological metabolite of vitamin A. Effects gene expression via nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RAR); mediates cellular growth and differentiation


retinoic acid (tretinoin) is a vitamin A derivative. It has demonstrated an ability to alter collagen synthesis, increase dermal hyaluronic acid levels, and stimulate fibroblast growth and the extracellular matrix. It is used for keratinization disorders and for treating acne. Retinoic acid’s anti-aging effect has been convincingly documented and it is often used for treating the visible signs of aging, though these results can take approximately 6 months to be visible. It is associated with a number of adverse effects, including irritation, photosensitivity, skin dryness, redness, and peeling. It should also not be used while pregnant.


Topical tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita), like isotretinoin, alters keratinization in the acroinfundibulum. In addition, it reverses certain premalignant and other histological changes associated with the photoaging changes that accompany chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Topically applied tretinoin is indicated in comedogenic and papulopustular acne vulgaris, and its mild exfoliative effects make it sometimes useful in molluscum contagiosum, flat warts, and some ichthyotic disorders. It is often prescribed to lessen the clinical signs of photoaging (wrinkling and hyperpigmented macules).


ChEBI: A retinoic acid in which all four exocyclic double bonds have E- (trans-) geometry.

Manufacturing Process

100 parts of beta-ionol are dissolved in 200 parts of dimethylforrnamide and after the addition of 165 parts of triphenylphosphine hydrobromide, stirred for 7 hours at room temperature. Then 70 parts of 4-methyl-1-al-hexadiene- (2,4)-acid-(6) (melting point 177°C, white needles from water) are added to the now clear solution. 150 parts of isopropanol are added and the whole cooled to -30°C. Into this solution, while stirring vigorously, 190 parts by volume of a 30% solution of sodium methylate in methanol are allowed to flow in. A vigorous exothermic reaction takes place and the temperature in the interior of the flask rises to +5°C. It is stirred for another 5 minutes and neutralized with 10% of sulfuric acid (until acid to Congo).
After stirring for 2 hours at room temperature, the mass of vitamin A acid has crystallized out. It is sharply filtered off by suction and washed with a little ice-cold isopropanol. From the filtrate, a further small amount of mainly all trans vitamin A acid crystallizes out upon the addition of water. The filter cake is suspended in 600 parts of water and stirred for 4 hours at room temperature; it is filtered by suction and the product washed with water. It is dried in vacuo at 40° to 50°C and 115 parts of vitamin A acid are obtained. The melting point lies between 146° and 159°C.
The mixture of the all trans and mainly 9,10-cis vitamin A acid may be separated by fractional crystallization from ethanol. All trans vitamin A acid has a melting point of 180° to 182°C and 9,10-cis vitamin A acid, which crystallized in the form of pale yellow fine needles collected into clusters, has a melting point of 189° to 190°C.

brand name

A-acido;Acid a vit;Acnavit;Acnavyse;Acretin;Airoderm;Aknebon;Aknefug;Anition;Antibio-aberel;Apsor;A-vitamisyre;Avitoin;Cordes vas;Dermoclar;Dermojuventas;Derugin;Locacid;Pigmanorm;R0 22-6595;Reiderma;Retin a;Ro 1-5488;Sebo-psor;Stie vaa;Stievaa;Tretin m;Vas dexa;Verra-med;Vitacid a.

Therapeutic Function


World Health Organization (WHO)

Tretinoin, a retinol derivative, was introduced in 1973 exclusively for the topical treatment of severe acne. Preparations of tretinoin are indicated for topical use only since oral administration has been associated with risk of toxicity from hypervitaminosis-A and subsequently of teratogenicity.

General Description

Tretinoin is available in 10-mg capsules for oral administrationin the treatment of APL. The mechanism of action involvespassive diffusion through the cell membrane andthen movement to the nucleus where it interacts with theretinoic acid receptor (RAR) portion of the PML-RAR fusionprotein. Binding of tretinoin allows the cell to differentiateand has also been shown to result in the destruction ofthe PML-RAR fusion protein. Resistance to tretinoin isproblematic and associated with an increase in cellularretinoic acid–binding proteins (CRAPBs) located in the cytosol.The complexation with tretinoin prevents movementinto the nucleus and may present the drug to metabolizingenzymes that inactivate it. Amino acid mutation of thePML-RAR protein has also been established as a mechanismof resistance. The agent is well absorbed upon oral administrationand highly (95%) protein bound. Metabolismoccurs in the liver and several inactive metabolites havebeen identified including 13-cis-retinoic acid, 4-oxo cisretinoic,4-oxo trans-retinoic acid and 4-oxo trans-retinoicacid glucuronide. Elimination occurs in the urine (63%) andfeces (31%) with an elimination half-life of 40 to 120 minutes.Vitamin A toxicity is seen in nearly all patients andpresents as headache, fever, dryness of the skin, skin rash,mucositis, and peripheral edema. APL differentiation syndromesuch as that seen for arsenic trioxide also occurs.Cardiovascular effects include flushing, hypotension, CHF,stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported butoccur only rarely. There are also several CNS and GI effectsthat have been associated with the agent as well.

General Description

Yellow to light-orange crystalline powder.

Air & Water Reactions

Tretinoin may be sensitive to prolonged exposure to air. Insoluble in water.

Reactivity Profile

Tretinoin may discolor on exposure to light. Tretinoin is extremely sensitive to exposure to light and, therefore, Tretinoin should be fully protected from light during all handling. Solutions are unstable in the presence of strong oxidizers. Tretinoin is incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. .

Fire Hazard

Flash point data for Tretinoin are not available; however, Tretinoin is probably combustible.

Biological Activity

Endogenous agonist for retinoic acid receptors. Also positively modulates PPAR δ receptors (K d = 17 nM). Promotes differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into adipocytes, neurons and glia in vitro .

Clinical Use

The major toxic effect of tretinoin is erythema and irritation of the skin to which it is applied, especially if the skin is moist.This toxicity often decreases with continued therapy.

Safety Profile

Poison by ingestion, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and intravenous routes. Experimental reproductive effects. Questionable carcinogen with experimental neoplastigenic and teratogenic data. Human mutation data reported. A human skin irritant. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes. Used to treat acne and other skin problems.

Veterinary Drugs and Treatments

Topical tretinoin may be useful in treating localized follicular or hyperkeratotic disorders such as acanthosis nigrans, idiopathic nasal and footpad hyperkeratosis, callous pyodermas, or chin acne. Tretinoin’s exact mechanism of action is not well understood, but it stimulates cellular mitotic activity, increases cell turnover, and decreases the cohesiveness of follicular epithelial cells.

Purification Methods

Purify the acid by chromatography on silicic acid columns, and eluting it with a small amount of EtOH in hexane. Also dissolve it in Et2O, wash it with H2O, dry (Na2SO4), evaporate and the solid residue is recrystallised from MeOH (0.53g /3.5mL MeOH to give 0.14g) or EtOH. It also recrystallises from i-PrOH, or as the methyl ester from MeOH. UV in MeOH has max at 351nm ( 45,000). 9-Cis-acid forms yellow needles from EtOH, with m 189-190o, and its UV in MeOH has max at 343nm ( 36,500); the 13-cis-acid forms red-orange plates from i-PrOH with m 174-175o, and UV has max at 345nm ( 39,800). Store it in the dark, in an inert atmosphere, at 0o [Robeson et al. J Am Chem Soc 77 4111 1955]. [Beilstein 9 IV 2387.]

Retinoic acid Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Retinoic acid Suppliers

Global( 531)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Fax Email Country ProdList Advantage
Xi'an Kono chem co., Ltd.,
18292830413 029-86107037-8014 CHINA 3000 58
Nantong Haigine Pharma Technology Co., Ltd
0086-513-86855116 CHINA 45 58
Capot Chemical Co.,Ltd.
+86(0)13336195806 +86-571-85586718
+86-571-85864795 China 19929 60
Henan DaKen Chemical CO.,LTD.
+86-371-55531817 CHINA 21842 58
Shanghai Bojing Chemical Co.,Ltd.
+86-21-37127788 CHINA 497 55
Henan Tianfu Chemical Co.,Ltd.
0371-55170693 CHINA 22625 55
020-81716319 CHINA 3048 55
Hubei XinRunde Chemical Co., Ltd.
02783214688 CHINA 568 55
Nanjing Finetech Chemical Co., Ltd.
025-85710122 17714198479
025-85710122 CHINA 890 55
Hefei TNJ Chemical Industry Co.,Ltd.
86-0551-65418684 18949823763
86-0551-65418684 China 2754 55

View Lastest Price from Retinoic acid manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2020-09-11 Retinoic acid
2020-07-01 Tretinoin Acne Treatment
US $100.00 / g/Bag 1Kg/Bag Above 99% 5000kg/month Shijiazhuang Suking Biotechnology Co .,Ltd.
2020-07-01 all-trans-retinoic acid
US $900.00 / T 25KG 99.99% 20 TON Hebei Mojin Biotechnology Co., Ltd

Retinoic acid Spectrum

302-79-4(Retinoic acid)Related Search:

Copyright 2017 © ChemicalBook. All rights reserved