Medically reviewed: April 4, 2018
Uses of Bexarotene:
- It is used to treat a type of lymphoma that affects the skin.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Bexarotene?
- If you have an allergy to bexarotene or any other part of bexarotene (topical).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take bexarotene (topical) if you are pregnant.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take bexarotene (topical) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Bexarotene?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take bexarotene (topical). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- It may take several weeks to see the full effects.
- Do not use bexarotene (topical) with insect repellents that have N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET).
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- Talk with your doctor before you take products that have vitamin A in them.
- Do not scratch the affected area.
- This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If bexarotene (topical) is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
- People using bexarotene (topical) may have skin reactions where bexarotene (topical) is used. These reactions may include burning, irritation, itching, redness, or scaling. If these reactions get very bad, a break from using bexarotene (topical) may be needed as told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that bothers you or if the reaction makes it hard to keep putting bexarotene (topical) on. Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that causes problems with daily living.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you use it while you are pregnant. If you get pregnant while using bexarotene (topical) or within 1 month after care ends, call your doctor right away.
- If you are a woman of childbearing age, take a pregnancy test 1 week before you start therapy and monthly while using bexarotene (topical).
- Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust 1 month before care begins, during care, and for at least 1 month after care ends.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
- If you are a man with a sex partner who is pregnant or plans on getting pregnant at any time while you are being treated, talk with your doctor.
How is this medicine (Bexarotene) best taken?
Use bexarotene (topical) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take bexarotene (topical) by mouth. Use on your skin only.
- Do not put bexarotene (topical) on or near the eyes, nostrils, mouth, lips, vagina, tip of the penis, rectum, or anus. If you get bexarotene (topical) in any of these areas, rinse with water right away.
- Wash your hands before and after use. Do not wash your hands after use if putting this on your hand.
- Put on affected part only.
- Avoid putting on healthy skin.
- Let gel dry before covering with clothing.
- Wait 20 minutes after bathing before putting on.
- Do not bathe, shower, or swim for 3 hours after putting on.
- Do not cover with dressings.
- Use as you have been told, even if your signs get better.
- Start taking bexarotene (topical) only on the second or third day of your next normal period (menstrual) cycle.
- This medicine may catch on fire. Do not use near an open flame or while smoking.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
What are some other side effects of Bexarotene?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Bexarotene?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from heat or open flame.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about bexarotene (topical), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about bexarotene topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 0 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: miscellaneous topical agents
Other brands: Targretin Gel