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Bexarotene Topical Dosage

Medically reviewed on August 6, 2018.

Applies to the following strengths: 1%

Usual Adult Dose for Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma

A sufficient quantity of gel to cover the lesion(s) with a generous coating should be applied topically initially once every other day for the first week. Thereafter, the frequency of application should be increased at weekly intervals to once a day, then twice a day, then three times a day, and finally to four times a day according to individual lesion tolerance. Generally, most patients are able to tolerate twice a day to four times a day applications.

Renal Dose Adjustments

Data not available

Liver Dose Adjustments

Data not available


The use of two reliable forms of contraception are recommended by the manufacturer for 1 month before, during, and 1 month after administration of bexarotene topical. Male patients should use condoms during sexual intercourse with women who are or may become pregnant.

Because less than 1% of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine, caution is recommended if bexarotene topical is to be used in a patient with liver dysfunction.

Photosensitivity may occur in patients receiving bexarotene topical. Caution should be exercised if used in patients with hypersensitivity to retinoids.

Patients should be warned to limit concomitant use of topical preparations containing vitamin A because of the potential for additive adverse effects.

No overall differences in safety were reported between patients 65 years of age or older and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals to bexarotene topical cannot be ruled out.

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.


Data not available

Other Comments

Allow gel to dry before covering the area with clothing. Because unaffected skin may become irritated, application of the gel to normal skin surrounding the lesions should be avoided. In addition, do not apply the gel near mucosal surfaces of the body.

A response may be seen as soon as 4 weeks after initiation of therapy but most patients require longer application. With continued application, further benefit may be attained.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.