TRI-LUMA (Page 2 of 5)


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. TRI-LUMA Cream should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. TRI-LUMA Cream contains the teratogen, tretinoin, which may cause embryo-fetal death, altered fetal growth, congenital malformations, and potential neurologic deficits.

In clinical trials involving TRI-LUMA Cream in the treatment of facial melasma, women of child-bearing potential initiated treatment only after having had a negative pregnancy test and used effective birth control measures during therapy. However, 13 women became pregnant during treatment with TRI-LUMA Cream. Most of the pregnancy outcomes are unknown. Three women gave birth to apparently healthy babies. One pregnancy was terminated prematurely, and another ended in miscarriage.

In general, use of drugs should be reduced to a minimum in pregnancy. If a patient has been inadvertently exposed to TRI-LUMA Cream in pregnancy, she should be counseled on the risk of teratogenesis due to this exposure. The risk of teratogenesis due to topical exposure to TRI-LUMA Cream may be considered low. However, exposure during the period of organogenesis in the first trimester is theoretically more likely to produce adverse outcome than in later pregnancy.

Tretinoin is considered to be highly teratogenic upon systemic administration. Animal reproductive studies are not available with topical hydroquinone. Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. Some corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic after dermal application in laboratory animals.

• In a dermal application study using TRI-LUMA Cream in pregnant rabbits, there was an increase in the number of in utero deaths and a decrease in fetal weights in litters from dams treated topically with the drug product.

• In a dermal application study in pregnant rats treated with TRI-LUMA Cream during organogenesis there was evidence of teratogenicity of the type expected with tretinoin. These morphological alterations included cleft palate, protruding tongue, open eyes, umbilical hernia, and retinal folding or dysplasia.

• In a dermal application study on the gestational and postnatal effects of a 10-fold dilution of TRI-LUMA Cream in rats, an increase in the number of stillborn pups, lower pup body weights, and delay in preputial separation were observed. An increase in overall activity was seen in some treated litters at postnatal day 22 and in all treated litters at five weeks, a pattern consistent with effects previously noted in animals exposed in utero with retinoic acids. No adequate study of the late gestational and postnatal effects of the full-strength TRI-LUMA Cream has been performed.

• It is difficult to interpret these animal studies on teratogenicity with TRI-LUMA Cream, because the availability of the dermal applications in these studies could not be assured, and comparison with clinical dosing is not possible.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Corticosteroids, when systemically administered, appear in human milk. It is not known whether topical application of TRI-LUMA Cream could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities of fluocinolone acetonide, hydroquinone, or tretinoin in human milk. Because many drugs are secreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when TRI-LUMA Cream is administered to a nursing woman. Care should be taken to avoid contact between the infant being nursed and TRI-LUMA Cream.

8.4 Pediatric use

Safety and effectiveness of TRI-LUMA Cream in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of TRI-LUMA Cream did not include sufficient number of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.


TRI-LUMA (fluocinolone acetonide, hydroquinone, and tretinoin) Cream, 0.01%/4%/0.05% contains fluocinolone acetonide, USP, hydroquinone, USP, and tretinoin, USP, in a light yellow, hydrophilic cream base for topical application.

Fluocinolone acetonide is a synthetic fluorinated corticosteroid. It is a white crystalline powder that is odorless and stable in light.

The chemical name for fluocinolone acetonide is: (6α,11β,16α)-6,9-difluoro-11,21-dihydroxy-16,17-[(1-methylethylidene)bis(oxy)]-pregna-1,-4-diene-3,20-dione.

The molecular formula is C24 H30 F2 O6 and molecular weight is 452.50.

Fluocinolone acetonide has the following structural formula:


Hydroquinone is a melanin synthesis inhibitor. It is prepared from the reduction of p -benzoquinone with sodium bisulfite. It occurs as fine white needles that darken on exposure to air.

The chemical name for hydroquinone is: 1,4-benzenediol.

The molecular formula is C6 H6 O2 and molecular weight is 110.11.

Hydroquinone has the following structural formula:


Tretinoin, a retinoid, is all-trans -retinoic acid formed from the oxidation of the aldehyde group of retinene to a carboxyl group. It occurs as yellow to light-orange crystals or crystalline powder with a characteristic odor of ensilage. It is highly reactive to light and moisture.

The chemical name for tretinoin is: (all-E)-3,7-dimethyl-9-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2,4,6,8-nonatetraenoic acid.

The molecular formula is C20 H28 O2 and molecular weight is 300.44.

Tretinoin has the following structural formula:

(click image for full-size original)

Each gram of TRI-LUMA Cream contains Active: fluocinolone acetonide 0.01% (0.1 mg), hydroquinone 4% (40 mg), and tretinoin 0.05% (0.5 mg). Inactive: butylated hydroxytoluene, cetyl alcohol, citric acid anhydrous, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, magnesium aluminum silicate, methyl gluceth-10, methylparaben, PEG-100 stearate, propylparaben, purified water, sodium metabisulfite, stearic acid, and stearyl alcohol.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of the active ingredients in TRI-LUMA Cream in the treatment of melasma is unknown.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Percutaneous absorption of unchanged tretinoin, hydroquinone and fluocinolone acetonide into the systemic circulation of two groups of healthy volunteers (Total N=59) was found to be minimal following 8 weeks of daily application of 1g (Group I, n=45) or 6g (Group II, n=14) of TRI-LUMA Cream.

For tretinoin quantifiable plasma concentrations were obtained in 57.78% (26 out of 45) of Group I and 57.14% (8 out of 14) of Group II subjects. The exposure to tretinoin as reflected by the Cmax values ranged from 2.01 to 5.34 ng/mL (Group I) and 2.0 to 4.99 ng/mL (Group II). Thus, daily application of TRI-LUMA Cream resulted in a minimal increase of normal endogenous levels of tretinoin. The circulating tretinoin levels represent only a portion of total tretinoin-associated retinoids, which would include metabolites of tretinoin and that sequestered into peripheral tissues.

For hydroquinone, quantifiable plasma concentrations were obtained in 18% (8 out of 44) Group I subjects. The exposure to hydroquinone, as reflected by the Cmax values, ranged from 25.55 to 86.52 ng/mL. All Group II subjects (6g dose) had post-dose plasma hydroquinone concentrations below the quantitation limit. For fluocinolone acetonide, Groups I and II subjects had all post-dose plasma concentrations below quantitation limit.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

When fluocinolone acetonide, hydroquinone, and tretinoin in fixed combinations equivalent to 10%, 50%, 100%, and 150% of the concentrations in the clinical formulation of TRI-LUMA Cream were applied topically to male and female CD-1 mice for up to 24 months at dosages approximating up to 50, 19,000, and 250 µg/kg/day, respectively (corresponding to dosages of 150, 57,000, and 750 μg/m2 /day, respectively), no statistically significant changes in tumor incidence were observed.

When fluocinolone acetonide, hydroquinone, and tretinoin in fixed combinations equivalent to 10%, 25%, 50%, and 100% of the concentrations in the clinical formulation of TRI-LUMA Cream were applied topically to male and female SD rats for up to 24 months at dosages approximating up to 10, 4000, and 50 µg/kg/day, respectively (corresponding to dosages of 60, 24,000, and 300 μg/m2 /day, respectively), statistically significant increases in the incidences of islet cell adenomas and combined islet cell adenomas and carcinomas of the pancreas in both males and females were observed. The clinical relevance of these findings is unknown.

Studies of hydroquinone in animals have demonstrated some evidence of carcinogenicity. The carcinogenic potential of hydroquinone in humans is unknown.

Studies in hairless albino mice suggest that concurrent exposure to tretinoin may enhance the tumorigenic potential of carcinogenic doses of UVB and UVA light from a solar simulator. This effect has been confirmed in a later study in pigmented mice, and dark pigmentation did not overcome the enhancement of photocarcinogenesis by 0.05% tretinoin. Although the significance of these studies to humans is not clear, patients should minimize exposure to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet irradiation sources.

Mutagenicity studies were not conducted with this combination of active ingredients. Published studies have demonstrated that hydroquinone is a mutagen and a clastogen. Treatment with hydroquinone has resulted in positive findings for genetic toxicity in the Ames assay in bacterial strains sensitive to oxidizing mutagens, in in vitro studies in mammalian cells, and in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay. Tretinoin has been shown to be negative for mutagenesis in the Ames assay. Additional information regarding the genetic toxicity potential of tretinoin and of fluocinolone acetonide is not available.

A dermal reproductive fertility study was conducted in SD rats using a 10-fold dilution of the clinical formulation. No effect was seen on the traditional parameters used to assess fertility, although prolongation of estrus was observed in some females, and there was a trend towards an increase in pre-and post-implantation loss that was not statistically significant. No adequate study of fertility and early embryonic toxicity of the full-strength drug product has been performed. In a six-month study in minipigs, small testes and severe hypospermia were found when males were treated topically with the full strength drug product.

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