coal tar shampoo
In this drug factsheet:
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Coal tar shampoo belongs to the family of medications known as antipsoriatics and antiseborrheics. It is used to treat itchy, oily skin conditions of the head and scalp such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff. Coal tar appears to have some anti-inflammatory properties, reducing itch and helps to remove scales that are associated with psoriasis. It may also slow down the growth of skin cells.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not recommended it.
How should I use this medication?
Coal tar shampoo should be used twice a week for the first 2 weeks, then 1 or 2 times a week thereafter. To use the shampoo, wet your hair and scalp with lukewarm water. Apply the shampoo to your scalp, massage, and rinse. Repeat, working up a rich lather. Allow shampoo to remain on your scalp for a few minutes, then rinse well with lukewarm water.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a different application schedule from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
This medication should not be used around the genital, groin, or rectal areas.
Avoid contact with your eyes. If eye contact occurs, flush well with water and contact your doctor.
Coal tar may stain clothing. It can also cause a yellowish tint to occur in blond or grey hair.
It is important to use this medication exactly as suggested by your doctor or pharmacist. If you miss using the shampoo on a scheduled day, use it the next day and continue with your regular schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing an application, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication in an airtight container. Keep it away from cold and out of reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Tersa Tar is available as a shampoo containing 1% coal tar (Tersa Tar Mild Shampoo) or 3% coal tar (Tersa Tar Shampoo). For nonmedicinal ingredients, refer to the product label.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to coal tar or any ingredients of the medication
- have an inflamed scalp
- have open or infected sores on the scalp