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Elta Tar

Generic name: Topical name: coal tar [KOL-TAR-TOP, ik-al]

Brand name: Anti-Dandruff, Balnetar, Coal Tar, DHS Tar Shampoo, Ionil T,… display all 23 brands
The class of drug: miscellaneous topical agents

What is Elta Tar?

Coal tar is a byproduct of coal processing.Elta Tar (for the skin) is used to treat skin manifestations of psoriasis that include dryness and flaking. It also treats redness, scaling, and irritation. Coal tar does not provide an effective treatment for psoriasis, and it can only provide temporary relief from skin conditions.Coal tar can also be used for other purposes that are not covered in this guide to medication.

Side effects of Elta Tar

See a doctor immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling of your lips, face, and tongue,Elta Tar may have serious side effects. Take a break from Elta Tar and call your doctor immediately. If you suffer from:

  • Intense burning, swelling, or symptoms of irritation to the skin.

Common side effects may be mild skin irritations or itching.This is not a comprehensive list of possible side effects, and other side effects could be present. Consult your physician to seek medical advice on adverse effects. Please call the FDA with any symptoms at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Follow the directions on the label of your medication and the package. Be sure to inform your health care providers about your medical ailments and allergies, as well as any medications you take.

Before you take this drug

It is best not to apply Elta Tar if you are sensitive to coal tar.Consult a physician or pharmacist to determine if it's safe to use this medication for you if you suffer from any additional medical conditions, including:

  • If you're allergic to any drug or
  • If you're receiving UV radiation therapy to treat your psoriasis,

The coal tar products you purchase might contain lanolin, mineral oil, and other emulsifiers. Be sure to check the label of any coal tar products you're using. Discuss with your doctor prior to taking coal tar if you have an allergy to one ingredient.Consult a physician before using this medicine if you are nursing or pregnant.Do not let a small child take this medication without supervision from an adult.

How to take Elta Tar?

Follow the directions on the label or as recommended by your physician. Avoid using it in greater quantities, in smaller quantities, or for a longer period than is recommended.Apply coal tar cream, lotion, ointment, or a solution in accordance with the directions printed on the label. Certain forms of coal tar are applied one to four times a day.To use the bathing oil, add up to 3 caps to the bath to warm it up before you bathe. The oil could make the tub slippery. Be careful not to slip.Shake the shampoo with coal tar well prior to use. Apply enough shampoo to form an intense lather. Massage the shampoo on your scalp, then rinse it off thoroughly. Apply the shampoo another time, and then leave it on your scalp for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly.Coal tar shampoo can discolor the hair color or make it blond. This is typically temporary.Don't use coal tar for treating large areas of skin. Don't use coal tar for long periods of time without a physician's guidance.Certain types of coal tar could cause staining on fabrics and other surfaces.Consult your physician if symptoms don't improve or if symptoms get worse after using Elta Tar.Storage at room temperature is free of heat and moisture. Close the medicine when not in use.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Because Elta Tar is used when required, you might not be following a dosage schedule. If you're in a routine, you should take the dose you missed as soon as you can remember. Do not take your missed dose if you are close to the time of the next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

A dose of Elta Tar isn't expected to pose a risk. Get medical attention immediately, or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222, in the event that someone has swallowed the drug accidentally.

What should be avoided?

Do not take coal tar with other medications for psoriasis until your doctor advises you to.Do not get Elta Tar in your eyes. If this happens, wash your eyes with water.Do not apply coal tar to treat the groin skin or rectal region.Avoid exposure to artificial UV radiation (sunlamps and tanning beds). Coal tar may cause your skin to become vulnerable to light, and sunburn could result.

Interaction with other drug

It's unlikely that any other drug you consume by mouth or inject can affect the coal tar that is applied topically. However, many medications can interact with each other. Be sure to inform your health care professionals about any medications you take, such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbs.