Soriatane (acitretin)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is Soriatane (acitretin)?

Acitretin is an oral medication used to treat psoriasis.

Is Soriatane (acitretin) available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for Soriatane (acitretin)?


What are the uses for Soriatane (acitretin)?

  • Acitretin is used for treating severe psoriasis in adults.
  • Acitretin should be prescribed only by doctors who have experience in the systemic use of retinoids because it has serious side effects.

What is the black box warning for Soriatane (acitretin)?

  • Acitretin is harmful to the fetus. It must not be used while pregnant, or by women who intend to be pregnant during therapy or within 3 years following discontinuation of therapy. It should also not be used by women who do not use reliable contraception. Patients must use 2 effective forms of contraception (birth control) simultaneously for at least 1 month prior to starting acitretin therapy, during therapy, and for at least 3 years after stopping treatment.
  • Alcohol increases conversion of acitretin to etretinate (Tegison), which remains in the body much longer and is also harmful to the fetus. Therefore, women should not consume alcohol during treatment with acitretin and for 2 months after stopping therapy.
  • Acitretin may cause liver damage. Acitretin should be discontinued if liver damage is suspected during treatment.

What are the side effects of Soriatane (acitretin)?

Common side effects of Soriatane include:

Other side effects of Soriatane include:

  • Increased levels of liver enzymes
  • Changes in phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium levels
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rash
  • Increased sun sensitivity

Other less common side effects of Soriatane include:

Since acitretin can cause liver damage, liver function tests should be performed before treatment at 1- to 2-week intervals until stable, and thereafter at intervals as clinically needed

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/16/2016

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