acitretin (Soriatane)

  • 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.

GENERIC NAME: acitretin

BRAND NAME: Soriatane



USES: 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.


  • 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.


Common side effects include:

Other side effects include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/22/2016

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