March 21, 2017

Sunscreens topical dosage forms

What are Sunscreens topical dosage forms?

SUNSCREENS protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun and help to prevent sunburn. There are 2 different kinds of sunscreens called 'physical sunscreens' and 'chemical sunscreens.' Physical sunscreens reflect the sun's UV radiation. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun's UV radiation. All physical sunscreens give UVA and UVB protection. All chemical sunscreens give UVB protection. Some chemical sunscreens give both UVA and UVB protection. Limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun and using sunscreens can help prevent wrinkles and skin damage, such as skin cancer.

What should my health care professional know before I receive Sunscreens?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an unusual reaction to sunscreens, PABA, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should this medicine be used?

The sun protection factor (SPF) found on the product label tells you how much protection a sunscreen offers. Products with high SPFs give more protection against the sun than products with low SPF. Choose a sunscreen product based on the type of activity in which you are involved, your age, site of application, your skin condition, and your skin type. Ask your pharmacist or health care professional about which sunscreen product is best for you.

Sunscreens are for external use only; apply only to the skin. Do not take by mouth. Apply evenly and liberally to all exposed areas of the skin 30 minutes before any sun exposure. Reapply sunscreens every 1—2 hours and after swimming, excessive sweating, or towel drying. Follow the directions on the product label.

Sunscreens are not recommended for infants less than 6 months of age. Infants in this age group should be kept out of the sun. Children and infants who are 6 months of age and older should use sunscreens that contain an SPF of 15 or higher. Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children.

Use topical insect repellants containing diethyltoluamide, DEET cautiously while using sunscreens. Sunscreens may increase the absorption of diethyltoluamide, DEET into the skin. This is especially important in children.

What if I miss a dose?

Apply it as soon as you remember.

What drug(s) may interact with Sunscreens?

  • Estrasorb® topical estrogen emulsion

  • insect repellants containing diethyltoluamide, DEET

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking Sunscreens?

Do not get sunscreen in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool water.

Minimize your exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daylight savings time). Be extra careful on cloudy or overcast days and around reflective surfaces such as concrete, sand, snow, or water. You should also wear protective clothing including a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and sunglasses. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Some sunscreens may discolor and stain light-colored fabrics yellow. Allow sunscreen to dry before covering the area to which the sunscreen was applied.

What side effects may I notice from receiving Sunscreens?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • dark red spots on the skin

  • painful, red, pus-filled blisters in hair follicles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • acne

  • burning or itching of the skin

  • dry or irritated skin

If you experience skin irritation from a sunscreen you can try a different formulation to prevent the reaction from recurring.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store below 40 degrees C (104 degrees F), preferably at room temperature between 15—30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F), unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. Store away from heat and direct light. Replace sunscreens yearly to maintain their effectiveness. Discard after expiration date on the bottle.


March 21, 2017


U.S. FDA-approved Package Insert