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tretinoin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: tretinoin (TRET i noin)
Brand Name: Vesanoid

What is tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Tretinoin is used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (a type of blood cancer).

Tretinoin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about tretinoin?

Do not use if you are pregnant. You may need to have a pregnancy test every month during treatment.

Slideshow: OTC Medication Use In Pregnancy: Wise or Worrisome?

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tretinoin?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to tretinoin or to other retinoids (such as Accutane, Retin-A, Renova).

This medicine can cause birth defects, miscarriage, premature birth, or death of a baby. Do not use tretinoin if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you miss a period or become pregnant during treatment. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment, and every month while taking tretinoin.

Tretinoin can make certain birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about the best method of birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking tretinoin. You must use effective birth control while you are taking tretinoin unless you have had a hysterectomy and no longer have a uterus. Use birth control even if you have been infertile (unable to have children) in the past, or if you have gone through menopause.

To make sure tretinoin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • high cholesterol;

  • liver disease; or

  • a history of blood clot or stroke.

It is not known whether tretinoin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I use tretinoin?

Your doctor will perform a blood test to make sure you have the type of leukemia this medicine is used to treat.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

You may need to continue taking tretinoin for up to 90 days. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store tretinoin at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, dizziness, weakness, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling) in your face, stomach pain, and dry or cracked lips.

What should I avoid while using tretinoin?

Do not use vitamin A supplements or multivitamins that contain vitamin A while you are taking tretinoin.

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

Tretinoin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • mouth and throat ulcers, red or swollen gums, burning mouth pain, trouble swallowing;

  • increased pressure inside the skull--severe headaches, ringing in your ears, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, pain behind your eyes;

  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, weight gain, swelling in your feet or ankles;

  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • lung problems--pain when you breathe, rapid heart rate, feeling short of breath (especially when lying down);

  • signs of a blood clot--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), problems with speech or balance, chest pain, coughing up blood, pain or warmth in one or both legs;

  • signs of infection--fever, chills, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, new or worsening cough, stabbing chest pain, wheezing, rapid and shallow breathing; or

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, weakness, tiredness;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • bone pain;

  • rash, itching, dry skin, increased sweating;

  • hair loss or skin changes;

  • dry mouth, nose, or throat;

  • headache; or

  • vision changes.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Tretinoin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia:

45 mg/m2/day administered as two evenly divided doses until complete remission is documented. Therapy should be discontinued 30 days after achievement of complete remission or after 90 days of treatment, whichever comes first.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia:

There are limited clinical data on the pediatric use of tretinoin. The safety and efficacy of tretinoin in patients < 1 year has not been established. Of 15 pediatric patients (1 to 16 years) treated with tretinoin the incidence of complete remission was 67%. Dose reduction may be considered for pediatric patients experiencing serious and/or intolerable toxicity, however, the safety and efficacy of doses less than 45 mg/m2/day have not been evaluated in the pediatric population.

45 mg/m2/day administered as two evenly divided doses until complete remission is documented. Therapy should be discontinued 30 days after achievement of complete remission or after 90 days of treatment, whichever comes first.

What other drugs will affect tretinoin?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with tretinoin, especially:

  • an antibiotic--doxycycline, demeclocycline, minocycline, tetracycline.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with tretinoin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about tretinoin.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03. Revision Date: 2015-01-12, 3:23:37 PM.

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