Generic Name: Alitretinoin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available. Avability: Rx Pregnancy Category: D

Uses

What is Alitretinoin used for?

Alitretinoin is used to treat skin sores in patients with a certain type of AIDS-related cancer (Kaposi’s sarcoma). Alitretinoin belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. It works by affecting the growth of skin cells.

This medication should not be used when medications taken by mouth are needed to treat the Kaposi’s sarcoma (e.g., more than 10 new skin sores in the previous month, disease affects the lungs or other organs).

How should I take Alitretinoin?

Use this medication on the skin only. Wait at least 20 minutes after bathing or showering before applying the medication. Apply enough medication to cover the skin sore(s) well, usually 2 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. It is not necessary to rub the medication into the sore. Allow 3 to 5 minutes for the medication to dry before covering the affected area with clothing.

Do not apply the medication on unaffected skin because doing so may cause increased irritation. Do not apply the medication in or around the eyes, nose, mouth, anus, vagina, or tip of the penis. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water.

Wash your hands after using, unless you are using this medication to treat the hands. Do not bathe, shower, or swim for at least 3 hours after using the medication.

Do not wrap, cover, or bandage the affected area unless directed to do so by your doctor.

Do not apply other skin products, except mineral oil, on the treated sores. You may apply mineral oil at least 2 hours before or after applying this medication to help prevent skin dryness/itching.

Since this drug is absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens. You should start to see an improvement in your skin condition in as little as 2 weeks of treatment, but it may take up to 14 weeks of treatment to see the benefit.

How do I store Alitretinoin?

Alitretinoin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Alitretinoin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Alitretinoin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Alitretinoin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Alitretinoin?

Before using alitretinoin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to vitamin A-related drugs (other retinoids such as isotretinoin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain type of cancer (skin T-cell lymphoma).

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Since this drug is absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Alitretinoin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Alitretinoin. Alitretinoin is pregnancy risk category D according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Alitretinoin?

Redness, rash, pain, burning, itching, stinging, or tingling at the application site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blistering/crusting/oozing/peeling of the skin, severe burning/stinging of the skin, swelling of the skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Alitretinoin?

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blistering/crusting/oozing/peeling of the skin, severe burning/stinging of the skin, swelling of the skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Alitretinoin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Alitretinoin?

Alitretinoin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Alitretinoin?

Alitretinoin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Alitretinoin.

What is the dose of Alitretinoin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Initial dose: Apply a generous coating of gel to cutaneous lesions 2 times a day; may gradually increase applications to 3 to 4 times a day based on individual lesion tolerance

What is the dose of Alitretinoin for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Alitretinoin available?

Alitretinoin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical gel.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Alitretinoin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: November 15, 2018 | Last Modified: November 15, 2018

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