GENERIC NAME: acitretin
BRAND NAME: Soriatane
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
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.
WARNING: (BLACK BOX WARNING)
- 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:
- Inflammation of the lips (cheilitis)
- Hair loss
- Increased triglyceride levels
- Skin peeling
- Dry skin (25%-50%)
- Cold symptoms
- Joint pain
- Dry mouth
Other side effects include:
- Increased levels of liver enzymes
- Changes in phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium levels
- Increased sun sensitivity
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