bexarotene - oral, Targretin (cont.)
USES: Bexarotene is used to treat skin problems from a certain type of cancer (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma-CTCL). It belongs to a class of drugs called retinoids (vitamin A derivatives). Bexarotene works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using bexarotene and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or immediately after a meal, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your body size, medical condition, and response to therapy. Swallow the medication whole. Do not crush or chew the medication. Do not use the capsule if it is broken or leaking. If the contents of the capsule touch your skin, immediately wash the area with soap and water and tell your doctor.Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.It may take up to several months of continued use to see a response to treatment. Your dosage may need to be adjusted by your doctor during this time.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication. Learn proper technique for safe handling and disposal of this medicine and its container. Consult your pharmacist.
SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, dry skin, diarrhea, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.This medication can frequently increase the level of "bad" fats (cholesterol/triglyceride) in your blood. Your doctor will order blood tests to measure these fats. If your blood fat levels get too high, your bexarotene dose may need to be lowered or stopped, or you may need to start cholesterol medication.This medication can cause an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms of low thyroid occur: unusual weight gain, feeling cold, constipation, slow heartbeat, low on energy. Your doctor will order a blood test and may start you on thyroid medication.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: stomach pain, swelling of the hands/feet, muscle pain/stiffness/cramps, fast/pounding heartbeat.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe abdominal/back/stomach pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, dark urine, vision changes, yellowing eyes and skin.This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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