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Panretin Side Effects

Generic name: alitretinoin topical

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 18, 2024.

Note: This document contains side effect information about alitretinoin topical. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Panretin.

Applies to alitretinoin topical: topical gel/jelly.

Serious side effects of Panretin

Along with its needed effects, alitretinoin topical (the active ingredient contained in Panretin) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking alitretinoin topical:

More common

Less common

Other side effects of Panretin

Some side effects of alitretinoin topical 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

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to alitretinoin topical: topical gel.


The most frequently reported side effects occurred almost exclusively at the application site. Dermal toxicity began as erythema, which could worsen and result in edema with continued use. This toxicity may be treatment-limiting, with intense erythema, edema, and vesiculation. Side effects were typically mild to moderate in severity and led to study withdrawal in 7% of patients. During one study, severe local (application site) skin reactions were reported in about 10% of patients.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Rash (up to 77%), pain (34%), paresthesia (up to 22%), pruritus (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Exfoliative dermatitis, skin disorder, edema[Ref]

Side effects occurred almost exclusively at the application site and have included application site rash (term includes erythema, scaling, irritation, redness, dermatitis), pain (term includes burning, pain), pruritus (term includes itching, pruritus), exfoliative dermatitis (term includes flaking, peeling, desquamation, exfoliation), skin disorder (term includes excoriation, cracking, scab, crusting, drainage, eschar, fissure, or oozing), paresthesia (term includes stinging, tingling), and edema (term includes edema, swelling, inflammation).[Ref]


1. (2001) "Product Information. Panretin (alitretinoin topical)." Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.