Alitretinoin : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
How should this medicine be used?
Alitretinoin comes as a topical gel. Alitretinoin is generally used twice a day. Your doctor may tell you to use alitretinoin more or less often depending on your response. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Use alitretinoin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Alitretinoin controls Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions but does not cure them. It will take at least 2 weeks of using alitretinoin before a benefit can be seen. For some patients, it may take 8 to 14 weeks to see results. Do not stop using alitretinoin without talking to your doctor. To apply alitretinoin, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands and the affected skin area well with a mild soap (non-medicated or abrasive or soap that dries the skin) and water.
- Use clean fingertips, gauze, or a cotton swab to apply the medicine.
- Apply enough gel to cover the lesion with a generous layer.
- Apply the medicine only to the affected skin area. Do not apply to unaffected areas; do not apply on or near mucous membranes.
- Let the gel dry for 3-5 minutes before covering it with clothing.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using alitretinoin,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alitretinoin, etretinate, isotretinoin, tazarotene, tretinoin, or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor what other medications you are taking, including vitamins or herbal products. Do not use insect repellants that contain DEET while using alitretinoin.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a type of skin cancer known as T-cell lymphoma.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using alitretinoin, call your doctor immediately. You should not plan to become pregnant while using alitretinoin.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Alitretinoin can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular application schedule.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Alitretinoin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- warmth or slight stinging of the skin
- lightening or darkening of the skin
- red, scaling skin
- swelling, blistering, or crusting of the skin
- pain at site of application
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor. Alitretinoin is for external use only. Do not allow alitretinoin to get into your eyes, nasal passages, mouth, or any broken skin, and do not ingest it.
Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you to.
Don’t let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. Tell your doctor if your skin condition worsens or does not improve.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.