Targretin Side Effects
Generic name: bexarotene
Note: This document contains side effect information about bexarotene. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Targretin.
Some side effects of Targretin may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to bexarotene: oral capsule
Along with its needed effects, bexarotene (the active ingredient contained in Targretin) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Since this medication is given in varying doses, the actual frequency of side effects may vary. In general, side effects are less common with lower doses than with higher doses.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking bexarotene:More common
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- skin rash or other skin and mucous membrane lesions
- increase in lipid or cholesterol levels
- coldness, dry, puffy skin or weight gain
- chills, cough, hoarseness, lower back or side pain or painful or difficult urination
- swelling of the arms, feet, hands, or legs
- Severe stomach pain with nausea or vomiting
- shortness of breath
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects of bexarotene may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Abdominal pain
- hair loss
- loss of appetite
- loss of strength or energy, tiredness or weakness
- back pain
- dry skin
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- trouble in sleeping
- nausea or vomiting
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to bexarotene: oral capsule
Metabolic side effects have included hyperlipidemia (79%), hypercholesterolemia (32% to 62%), and increased lactic dehydrogenase (7% to 13%).
Endocrine side effects have included hypothyroidism (29% to 53%).
In a phase III trial on the use of bexarotene (the active ingredient contained in Targretin) for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, a subgroup (32%) of bexarotene-treated patients developing high-grade hyperglyceridemia appeared to have better survival than controls. Therefore, triglyceride response may be a biomarker of survival benefit with bexarotene.
Hematologic side effects have included leukopenia (17% to 47%), anemia (6% to 24%), hypochromic anemia (4% to 13%), and high-grade hypertriglyceridemia. One fatal case of subdural hematoma has also been reported.
General side effects have included headache (30% to 42%), asthenia (20% to 45%), infection (13% to 22%), abdominal pain (4% to 11%), chills (10% to 13%), fever (5% to 17%), flu syndrome (4% to 13%), back pain (2% to 11%), and bacterial infection (1% to 13%).
Dermatologic side effects have included rash (17% to 23%), dry skin (9% to 11%), exfoliative dermatitis (10% to 28%), alopecia (4% to 11%), and photosensitivity.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (8% to 16%), diarrhea (7% to 42%), vomiting (4% to 13%), and anorexia (2% to 23%). Ten cases of acute pancreatitis (including one fatal case) have also been reported.
Cardiovascular side effects have included peripheral edema (11% to 13%).
Nervous system side effects have included insomnia (5% to 11%).
Hepatic side effects have included one fatal case of liver failure. Elevations in liver function tests have included SGPT/ALT (2% to 9%), SGOT/AST (5% to 7%), and bilirubin (up to 6%).
More Targretin resources
- Targretin Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Targretin Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Targretin Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Targretin MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Targretin Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Bexarotene Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
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