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Alitretinoin

Generic Name: alitretinoin (a-li-TREH-tih-no-in)
Brand Name: Panretin

Alitretinoin is used for:

Treating skin sores/lesions in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Alitretinoin is a retinoid. It slows the growth of abnormal and normal skin cells. This slows or stops the growth of Kaposi sarcoma.

Do NOT use alitretinoin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in alitretinoin or to other retinoid medicines

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of this applies to you.

Before using alitretinoin:

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have increased white blood cell counts, eczema, or lymphoma

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with alitretinoin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines.

  • Tranexamic acid because side effects may be increased by alitretinoin.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if alitretinoin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use alitretinoin:

Use alitretinoin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with alitretinoin. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Wash and completely dry the affected area.
  • Apply medicine generously to cover the lesion. Allow 3 to 5 minutes to dry before covering with clothing. Do not get alitretinoin on healthy skin surrounding the lesion.
  • Wash your hands immediately after using alitretinoin, unless your hands are part of the treated area.
  • Do not bandage or wrap the affected area.
  • If you miss a dose of alitretinoin, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use alitretinoin.

Important safety information:

  • Alitretinoin is for external use only. Do not get it in your eyes, on the inside of your nose or mouth, or near the vagina, tip of the penis, or rectum. If you get it in your eyes, rinse right away with cool water.
  • Do not apply alitretinoin to normal skin surrounding the lesions as it may cause serious irritation to this skin.
  • It may take 4 to 8 weeks or longer for alitretinoin to work. Do not stop using alitretinoin without checking with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines or cleansers on your skin. Do NOT use insect repellants containing DEET.
  • Do not shower, swim, or bathe for at least 3 hours after applying alitretinoin.
  • You may use mineral oil between applications to help prevent dryness or itching. Do not apply mineral oil within 2 hours before or after applying alitretinoin.
  • If severe irritation occurs, contact your doctor. You may need to temporarily stop using alitretinoin for a few days until the irritation stops.
  • Alitretinoin may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to alitretinoin. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Alitretinoin contains alcohol. Do not store or use near open flames.
  • Alitretinoin should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Alitretinoin has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using alitretinoin while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using alitretinoin.

Possible side effects of alitretinoin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Burning; flaking; itching; pain; peeling; rash; redness; scaling; skin inflammation; skin irritation; stinging; tingling.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blistering; cracking; crusting; draining; excessive pain; oozing; scabbing of the skin; swelling.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Alitretinoin may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of alitretinoin:

Store alitretinoin at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep alitretinoin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about alitretinoin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Alitretinoin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take alitretinoin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about alitretinoin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to alitretinoin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using alitretinoin.

Review Date: November 3, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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