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Drug Guide    A   Acitretin

  Prescription drug information   Post your opinion about this drug  


(oral) (capsule)

Treats severe psoriasis (a skin problem) in adults. This medicine is a retinoid and is related to vitamin A.


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 Acitretin images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Treats severe psoriasis (a skin problem) in adults. This medicine is a retinoid and is related to vitamin A.

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

How To Use
  • APPEARANCE: Capsule. Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often.
  • Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. It is best to take this medicine with food, at your main meal of the day.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide.
  • Read and follow these instructions carefully.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
  • Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.

Side Effects
  • Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects: Chest pain, weakness, trouble breathing.
  • Increased hunger or thirst, increase in how much or how often you urinate. Muscle or joint pain or stiffness, numbness in your hands or feet.
  • Nausea, vomiting. Severe headache, dizziness, or light-headedness. Skin or eyes turn yellow, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, dark-colored urine or pale stools. Sudden and severe stomach pain, fever.
  • Trouble seeing (especially at night), blurred vision, pain in your eye.

  • You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acitretin, etretinate (Tegison®), or similar medicines such as isotretinoin (Accutane®).
  • Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you may become pregnant during your treatment or for 3 years after you stop using this medicine.
  • You should not use this medicine if you have severe kidney disease, severe liver disease, or high blood cholesterol or triglycerides that cannot be controlled.
  • Do not use this medicine if you are also using methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) or any tetracycline antibiotic (such as doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, Vibramycin®).
  • You should not use this medicine if you cannot follow all of the instructions in the Medication Guide.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can.
  • If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

Drug Interactions
  • For women: Using this medicine while you are pregnant can cause very serious birth defects.
  • You must use two forms of birth control for the entire time that you are being treated with this medicine, for 1 month before starting this medicine, and for 3 years after you take your last dose of this medicine.
  • You will need to have two negative pregnancy tests to be sure that you are not pregnant before you start using this medicine.
  • You also might need to have pregnancy tests during treatment, depending on your situation.
  • If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Some people who have used this medicine have become very depressed or angry.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you think this medicine is causing mental or emotional changes for you.
  • Some signs of this may be feeling very sad or nervous, getting upset easily, or thinking about hurting yourself or someone else.
  • Other signs may include eating more, eating less, gaining weight, losing weight, or having trouble thinking. Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any problems with your bones, such as having bone spurs.
  • Your doctor needs to know if you have high cholesterol or triglycerides in your blood, or if you have a family history of these problems. Do not donate blood during the time you are being treated with this medicine and for at least 3 years after you take your last dose.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine.
  • Be sure to keep all appointments. Your psoriasis may get worse for a short time before it starts to improve.
  • You may have more itching or redness.
  • Tell your doctor if this happens.
  • This medicine works gradually.
  • Your skin will probably start to look and feel better after using this medicine for 8 weeks.
  • Your skin may keep improving for up to 3 months.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also receiving light therapy (phototherapy).
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors.
  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

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Low adverse Reactions
Healing Power
No dependency problems

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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