Table of Contents > Drug > Coal Tar Print

Coal Tar


Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Balnetar® [OTC];Betatar Gel® [OTC];Cutar® [OTC];Denorex® Therapeutic Protection 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner [OTC];Denorex® Therapeutic Protection [OTC];DHS® Tar [OTC];DHST Tar Gel [OTC];Exorex® Penetrating Emulsion #2 [OTC];Exorex® Penetrating Emulsion [OTC];ionil-T® Plus [OTC];ionil-T® [OTC];MG217® Medicated Tar Extra Strength [OTC];MG217® Medicated Tar Intensive Strength [OTC];MG217® Medicated Tar [OTC];Neutrogena® T/Gel® Extra Strength [OTC];Neutrogena® T/Gel® Stubborn Itch Control [OTC];Neutrogena® T/Gel® [OTC];Oxipor® VHC [OTC];Pentrax® [OTC];ScyteraT [OTC];Tera-GelT [OTC];Thera-Gel [OTC];Zetar® [OTC]
    • Brand Names: Canada: Doak Oil Forte [OTC];Doak Oil [OTC];Emorex Gel [OTC];Neuotrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo [OTC];Odans Liquor Carbonis Detergens [OTC];Pentrax Gold Shampoo [OTC];Pentrax Tar Shampoo [OTC];Psoriasin [OTC];T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Extra Strength [OTC];Targel® [OTC];Tersa Tar Shp [OTC]

    • It is used to treat dandruff.
    • It is used to treat psoriasis.
    • It is used to control seborrheic dermatitis.
    • Coal tar gets in the way of skin growth.
    • It helps swelling.


    How to take

    • All products:
    • Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
    • Bath oil:
    • Add to bath water.
    • Soak for as long as you were told by your doctor, then pat dry.
    • Gel:
    • Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
    • Leave it on your skin for as long as you were told, then pat with a clean tissue.
    • Lotion, solution:
    • Follow how to use as you have been told by your doctor or read the package insert.
    • Ointment:
    • Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
    • Shampoo:
    • Wet hair and scalp.
    • Put on enough shampoo to make a lather.
    • Lather well.
    • Rinse and put on again, lather, and leave on for 5 minutes.
    • Rinse and dry hair.

    Missed Dose

    • Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.


    • Store at room temperature.



    • If you have an allergy to coal tar or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • This drug may stain fingernails, hair, and skin.
    • Protect clothing and fabrics from staining.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Do not use coverings (bandages, dressings, make-up) unless told to do so by your doctor.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Skin irritation.
    • Scalp irritation.


    • Change in the health problem being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?
    • Follow up with the doctor.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
    • Read the package insert for more details.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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