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Bexarotene Topical

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Skin cancer known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) that was resistant to prior treatments is treated with topical bexarotene. Bexarotene belongs to the group of drugs known as retinoids. It functions by halting the development of cancer cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Topical bexarotene is available as a skin-applying gel. Typically, it is administered once every other day at initially, increasing eventually to two to four times per day. Apply topical bexarotene daily at around the same times. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Bexarotene should only be used as prescribed. Use it only as directed by your doctor, neither more nor less often.

Your physician will most likely start you on a low dose of topical bexarotene and gradually increase it, not more frequently than once per week. If you encounter side effects, your doctor might reduce your dose.

When using topical bexarotene, your condition can start to get better as soon as four weeks later, or it might take months. After your condition starts to get better, keep applying topical bexarotene since it can become better even more. Without consulting your doctor, do not cease applying topical bexarotene.

Bexarotene gel has a risk of burning. Use caution when using this drug close to a heat source or an open flame, such as a cigarette.

Bexarotene gel should only be applied externally. Keep the drug away from your eyes, nostrils, mouth, lips, vagina, tip of the penis, rectum, and anus. Do not ingest the medication.

While receiving topical bexarotene treatment, you are permitted to bathe, shower, or swim, but only with a moderate, non-deodorant soap. Before applying topical bexarotene, you should wait at least 20 minutes after taking a shower or bath. Do not take a bath, go swimming, or take a shower for at least three hours after taking the drug.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Follow these steps to use the gel:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Remove the cap from the bexarotene gel tube if it is brand-new, and look to see if the tube opening is protected by a metal safety seal. If the safety seal is missing or has been pierced, do not use the tube. If the safety seal is visible, flip the cap over and pierce the seal with the sharp point.
  3. Apply a thick layer of gel with a clean finger to the targeted area only. Avoid getting any gel on the skin that is healthy around the afflicted area. Avoid massaging the gel into your skin. Once you’re done applying it, some gel ought to be visible on the injured region.
  4. Except as directed by your physician, avoid tightly bandaging or wrapping the treated area.
    Use a tissue to clean the finger you used to apply the gel, then toss the tissue in the trash. Use soap and water to wash your hands.
  5. Covering the gel with loose clothing should wait until it has dried for 5 to 10 minutes. Wear loose garments over the injured area.

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 using topical bexarotene,

  • Bexarotene, any other retinoid such as acitretin (Soriatane), etretinate (Tegison), isotretinoin (Accutane), or tretinoin (Vesanoid), or any other medications should be avoided if you are allergic to any of them.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: a few antifungal medications, including erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); other skin-applied drugs or products, vitamin A, and gemfibrozil (Lopid) (in multivitamins). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Topical bexarotene may also interact with a variety of other drugs, so be sure to let your doctor know about all the drugs you’re taking, even if they don’t appear on this list.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems now or in the past, let your doctor know.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, let your doctor know. You must take efforts to avoid pregnancy both during and immediately after your treatment with topical bexarotene since it has the potential to cause serious birth abnormalities. The second or third day of your menstrual cycle will mark the start of your therapy, and you will need to have negative pregnancy tests within a week of the beginning of your treatment as well as once a month after it. Throughout your therapy and for one month after it, you must utilise two legal birth control methods. Call your doctor right away if you find out you’re pregnant while using topical bexarotene.
  • Inform your doctor if you are nursing a baby.
  • The precautions you should take during your treatment should be discussed with your doctor if you are a male and have a partner who is pregnant or could become pregnant. If your partner gets pregnant while you’re on topical bexarotene, call your doctor right away.
  • Consider wearing protective clothes, sunglasses, and sunscreen as well as avoiding unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and sunlamps. Your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight if you use topical bexarotene.
  • Use of topical bexarotene during the use of DEET-containing products or insect repellents is prohibited.
  • While receiving topical bexarotene treatment, avoid scratching the regions that are affected.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

If you plan to consume grapefruits or grapefruit juice while taking this medication, consult your doctor.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

As soon as you realise you missed a dose, administer it. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. Applying more gel won’t make up for a forgotten dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Bexarotene topical side effects are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Itching
  • Scaling, burning, itching, or redness of the skin
  • Rash
  • Pain
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Edoema of the lower legs, lower arms, feet, ankles, or hands

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:

  • An infection-related sore throat, fever, chills, or other symptoms
  • Enlarged glands

Other negative effects of bexarotene may occur. If you experience any strange issues while taking this drug, call 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 out of the reach and sight of children. Store it away from light, excessive heat, open fires, 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 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.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

Do not share your medication with anybody else. 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.

Brand names

  • Targretin® Topical Gel
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