Coal Tar Lotion

Generic Name: Coal Tar (kohl tar)Brand Name: MG217 Medicated Tar

Coal Tar Lotion is used for:

Relieving itching, irritation, redness, dryness, scaling, and flaking of the skin caused by psoriasis. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Coal Tar Lotion is a keratolytic. It works by slowing bacterial growth and loosening and softening scales and crust.

Do NOT use Coal Tar Lotion if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Coal Tar Lotion
  • you have a condition that makes you sensitive to sunlight (eg, lupus, allergy to sunlight)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Coal Tar Lotion:

Some medical conditions may interact with Coal Tar Lotion. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are using any other treatment for psoriasis, including ultraviolet radiation or a prescription medicine
  • if you have eczema

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Coal Tar Lotion. However, no specific interactions with Coal Tar Lotion are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Coal Tar Lotion may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Coal Tar Lotion:

Use Coal Tar Lotion as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Shake well before using.
  • Wash and completely dry the affected area. Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed. After several minutes, remove any excess medicine remaining on the skin by patting with a clean tissue.
  • Wash your hands after using Coal Tar Lotion, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
  • If you miss a dose of Coal Tar Lotion, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Coal Tar Lotion.

Important safety information:

  • Avoid getting Coal Tar Lotion in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get Coal Tar Lotion in your eyes, immediately wash them out with cool tap water.
  • Coal Tar Lotion may be harmful if swallowed. If you may have taken Coal Tar Lotion by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • Coal Tar Lotion may stain hair, skin, and clothing.
  • Do not use any other medicine or special cleanser on your skin unless directed by your doctor.
  • Do not use Coal Tar Lotion on open, raw, inflamed, or infected skin.
  • Do not use Coal Tar Lotion in or around the genital area, groin, or rectum unless you doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Do not use Coal Tar Lotion over a large area of your body without first talking to your doctor.
  • Do not use Coal Tar Lotion for a prolonged period of time without consulting your doctor.
  • Coal Tar Lotion may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Coal Tar Lotion. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Coal Tar Lotion during pregnancy. It is unknown if Coal Tar Lotion is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Coal Tar Lotion, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Coal Tar Lotion:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Itching, burning, tenderness, or redness; sensitivity to sunlight.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); irritation.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Coal Tar Lotion:

Store Coal Tar Lotion at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep Coal Tar Lotion out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Coal Tar Lotion, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Coal Tar Lotion is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Coal Tar Lotion. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

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