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Bexarotene gel

Generic Name: bexarotene (bex-AR-oh-teen)
Brand Name: Targretin

Bexarotene gel is used for:

Treating skin lesions in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Bexarotene gel is a retinoid. Exactly how it works is unknown.

Do NOT use bexarotene gel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in bexarotene gel
  • you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using bexarotene gel:

Some medical conditions may interact with bexarotene gel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist 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 are allergic to other retinoids (eg, tretinoin)
  • if you have liver or kidney problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with bexarotene gel. Because little, if any, of bexarotene gel is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if bexarotene gel 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 bexarotene gel:

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

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with bexarotene gel. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Bexarotene gel is for external use only. Do not apply bexarotene gel on or near the eyes, nostrils, mouth, lips, vagina, tip of the penis, rectum, or anus. If you get bexarotene gel in any of these areas, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Wash your hands before and after using bexarotene gel. Do not wash your hands after use if your hands are part of the treatment area.
  • Apply a generous coating of bexarotene gel to the entire lesion. Avoid getting bexarotene gel on the healthy skin around the lesions. Allow bexarotene gel to dry before covering it with clothing.
  • Do not bandage or wrap bexarotene gel unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim for 3 hours after putting on.
  • If putting this drug on after a bath or shower, wait 20 minutes before putting it on.
  • This drug may catch on fire. Do not use near an open flame or while smoking.
  • Continue to use bexarotene gel even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of bexarotene gel, put it on 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 put on 2 doses at once.

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

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take bexarotene gel before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Bexarotene gel may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to bexarotene gel. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Do not use products that contain DEET (eg, insect repellant) while you are using bexarotene gel.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin A supplements or multivitamins that contain vitamin A.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
  • Avoid scratching the affected area.
  • If you are a man and have sex with a woman who is pregnant, may be pregnant, or can get pregnant, always used a condom during sex. Use a condom during treatment and for at least 1 month after treatment ends.
  • Women using bexarotene gel must have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week prior to beginning therapy with bexarotene gel, and each month after that until therapy is finished. Begin therapy with bexarotene gel on the second and third day of a normal menstrual period.
  • If you may become pregnant, you must use 2 effective forms of birth control for 1 month before you start using bexarotene gel, while you use it, and for at least 1 month after you stop using it. If you have questions about effective birth control, talk with your doctor.
  • Bexarotene gel may be harmful if swallowed. If you or someone you know may have taken bexarotene gel by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use bexarotene gel if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant while using bexarotene gel or within 1 month after stopping it, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are using bexarotene gel.

Possible side effects of bexarotene gel:

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:

Headache; pain, itching, or other irritation at the application site.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fever, chills, or sore throat; numbness or tingling of the skin; severe or persistent pain, itching, or other irritation at the application site; 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.

Proper storage of bexarotene gel:

Store bexarotene gel at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep away from an open flame. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep bexarotene gel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about bexarotene gel, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Bexarotene gel 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 bexarotene gel 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 bexarotene gel. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to bexarotene gel. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using bexarotene gel.

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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