Patients who are female:
If you are pregnant or want to get pregnant within the next three years, you should not take acitretin. The foetus may suffer from acitretin. Azitretin shouldn’t be taken until after two negative pregnancy tests have been performed. For the month prior to starting acitretin treatment, for the duration of acitretin treatment, and for three years following treatment, you must utilise two reliable methods of birth control. Which methods of birth control are appropriate will be specified by your doctor. If you have undergone a hysterectomy (a procedure to remove the womb), if your doctor declares that you are past menopause, or if you abstain from all sexual activity, you do not need to use two forms of birth control.
Inform your doctor of the name of the birth control pill you’ll be using if you intend to use oral contraceptives (birth control pills) while taking acitretin. Oral contraceptives with microdosed progestins (sometimes known as “minipills”) experience interference from acitretin. If you are using acitretin, avoid using this method of birth control. Tell your doctor about all of your current prescription medications, nutritional supplements, and herbal remedies if you intend to use hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches, implants, injections, and intrauterine devices. The effectiveness of hormonal birth control is hampered by a number of drugs. If you are on any kind of hormonal contraceptive, you should avoid taking St. John’s wort.
Throughout your acitretin treatment and for at least three years after stopping acitretin, you must regularly test for pregnancy. In the event that you become pregnant, fail to have a period, or engage in sexual activity without utilising two types of birth control, stop taking acitretin and contact your doctor right away. Your doctor may occasionally recommend emergency contraception (often known as “the morning after pill”) to stop pregnancies.
While using acitretin and for two months following therapy, avoid consuming any meals, beverages, or prescription or over-the-counter medicines that contain alcohol. A combination of alcohol and acitretin results in a chemical that stays in the blood for a very long period and is harmful to the foetus. If you are unsure whether a drug contains alcohol, carefully read the label on both food and prescription before taking it, and consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Before you start treatment, your doctor will offer you a patient agreement/informed consent form to look over and sign. Make sure to carefully read this, and if you have any questions, consult your doctor.
Men’s health patients:
Male patients who use this drug have a trace level of acitretin in their semen. The foetus may be harmed by this trace amount of drug, although this is unknown. If your partner is pregnant or intends to become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the potential hazards of taking this medicine.
For patients, both sexes:
Don’t give blood while using acitretin and for three years after finishing the medication.
Acitretin may harm the liver. If you have liver illness now or ever had it, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: Dark urine, dark complexion, yellowing of the skin or eyes, loss of appetite, pain in the upper right portion of the stomach
The patient information sheet (Medication Guide) from the manufacturer will be sent to you by your doctor or pharmacist when you start treatment with acitretin and each time you fill a prescription. If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the manufacturer’s website or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
Why is this medication prescribed?
For severe psoriasis, acitretin is prescribed (abnormal growth of skin cells that causes red, thickened, or scaly skin). Acitretin belongs to the group of drugs known as retinoids. It is unknown how acitretin functions.
How should this medicine be used?
Acitretin is available as a capsule to be swallowed. It is typically consumed once a day with the main course. Take acitretin every day around the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Administer acitretin precisely as prescribed. Never take it in quantities or frequencies other than those recommended by your doctor.
Your physician might begin you on a low dose of acitretin and then gradually increase it.
Psoriasis is not cured by acitretin, however it can be controlled. Before you experience the full benefits of acitretin, it could take up to three months. During the first few months of treatment, your psoriasis may worsen. This doesn’t necessarily imply that acitretin won’t be effective for you, but if it does, let your doctor know. Taking acitretin shouldn’t stop just because you feel better. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking acitretin.
Your symptoms can return if you stop using acitretin. If this occurs, let your physician know. Remaining acitretin should not be used to treat a fresh psoriasis flare-up. There may be a need for a new drug or dose.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking acitretin,
- If you’ve ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to acitretin, other retinoids like adapalene (Differen, in Epiduo), alitretinoin (Panretin), isotretinoin (Absorica, Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret, Zenatane), tazarotene (Avage, Fabior, Tazorac), t You won’t want to utilise acitretin, your doctor will likely advise you. For a list of the ingredients, consult your pharmacist or the Medication Guide.
- While taking acitretin, let your doctor know if you’re also taking any of the following medications: methotrexate (Trexall), tetracycline antibiotics (Sumycin, in Helidac, in Pylera), demeclocycline, doxycycline (Doryx, Monodox, Oracea, Periostat, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn), or any combination If you take one or more of these drugs, your doctor will probably advise you not to use acitretin.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you’re using. Mention any of the following, including vitamin A, glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, in Glucovance), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), and the drugs and herbs specified in the IMPORTANT WARNING section (in multivitamins). Tell your physician if you have ever taken etretinate as well (Tegison). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, as well as any renal disease, high triglyceride levels, high cholesterol in your family, or high triglyceride levels yourself. Your physician might advise against taking acitretin.
- Inform your doctor if you consume a lot of alcohol, have diabetes or high blood sugar, back issues, depression, or have ever had a stroke or mini-stroke, as well as joint, bone, or heart illness.
- If you are on acitretin or have recently finished taking it, you should not breastfeed.
- You should be aware that acitretin may impair your capacity for nighttime vision. Any moment during your treatment, this issue could erupt suddenly. When travelling at night, drive very carefully.
- Make a plan to limit your time spent in the sun and to use sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothes. If you are using acitretin, avoid using sunlamps. Your skin could become photosensitive if you take acitretin.
- Inform your doctor that you are taking acitretin if you require phototherapy.
- You should be aware that acitretin may cause eye dryness and discomfort if you use contacts during or after therapy. If this occurs, take off your contact lenses and contact your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Ignore the missed dose and carry on with my normal dosing routine. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from acitretin are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Skin that is flaking, dry, itchy, scaling, cracked, bleeding, sticky, or infected
- Toenails and fingernails that are fragile or weak
- Strange skin odour
- Excessive perspiration
- Hair fall
- Textural changes in the hair
- Wet eyes
- Loss of eyelashes or brow hair
- Flushes or hot flashes
- Bruised or enlarged lips
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- A lot of saliva
- Scorching, swollen, or painful tongue
- Bruises or swelling in the mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Higher appetite
- Infection of the sinuses
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Clogged nose
- Wet nose
- Aching joints
- Tensed muscles
- Variations in taste
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Although the following signs and symptoms are unusual, if you notice any of them or any of the ones in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor right away:
- Excessive appetite, thirst, frequent urination, impaired vision, or weakness
- Shortness of breath, a fruity breath odour, dry mouth, nausea, and diminished consciousness
- Redness, swelling, or discomfort in the eyes or eyelids
- Eye discomfort
- Sensitive to light eyes
- Hand, foot, ankle, or lower leg swelling
- Only one leg is swollen or red.
- Having ideas of harming or killing oneself
- Back, joint, or muscle pain
- Any difficulty moving your body in any direction
- Sense loss in the hands or feet
- Chest pain
- Slow or challenging speech
- Legs and arms tingling
- Muscle tone loss
- Leg heaviness or weakness
- Grey, pale, or cold skin
- Irregular or slow heartbeat
- Rapid heart rate
- Breathing difficulty
- Hearing loss or ringing
Other negative effects of acitretin are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Overdose symptoms could include:
- Uneasy stomach
- Itchy, dry skin
- Reduced appetite
- Joint or bone ache
If a female who could become pregnant overdoses on acitretin, she should check for pregnancy right away and utilise two birth control methods for the following three years.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how well your body is responding to acitretin, your doctor will request a few lab tests.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.