Brand Names: U.S.
Brand Names: Canada
- Do not take this drug if you are pregnant or want to get pregnant within 3 years after stopping this drug. Do not take this drug if you may not use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust while taking this drug or within 3 months after stopping it. The risk of very bad and sometimes deadly birth defects is very high if you take this drug at any time while you are pregnant or if you get pregnant within 3 years after stopping this drug. Any unborn baby can be harmed. There is no good way to tell if an unborn baby has been harmed. The risk of losing an unborn baby is also raised, and premature births have happened. Your doctor will talk about the bad effects before starting you on this drug. Use 2 helpful kinds of birth control 1 month before starting this drug, during treatment, and for 3 years after care ends. Pregnancy tests will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting and every month while taking this drug. You will also have a pregnancy test every 3 months for 3 years after stopping this drug. If you get pregnant while taking this drug or within 3 years after stopping it, call your doctor right away. If you know all the facts and can follow how to take this drug, you must sign a patient fact/consent form. Do not sign the form and do not take this drug if you do not know everything on the form.
- The Do Your P.A.R.T. (Pregnancy Prevention Actively Required During and After Treatment) program gives info about the risks of taking this drug. It also gives info on preventing pregnancy while you use this drug and for at least 3 years after stopping it. Talk with your doctor.
- Small amounts of this drug are found in semen. It is not known if this may lead to any risk to the unborn baby. Talk with your doctor.
- Women: Do not drink beer, wine, or mixed drinks while using this drug and for 2 months after stopping it.
- Do not donate blood while using this drug and for 3 years after stopping.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to treat psoriasis.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- If you have an allergy to acitretin or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: High cholesterol, kidney disease, or liver disease.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
- If you are taking some antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline, products that have vitamin A, products that are like vitamin A, or St John’s wort.
- If you are taking methotrexate.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
- Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
- It may take a few months to see the full effect.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), this drug may sometimes raise blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about how to fine tune this.
- Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
- Have a bone density test. Talk with your doctor.
- Skin may look worse before it looks better.
- You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- This drug may cause a very bad and sometimes deadly problem called capillary leak syndrome (CLS). CLS may lead to low blood pressure and harm to the organs. It may also lead to a heartbeat that is not normal, chest pain or pressure, heart attack, lung or breathing problems, bleeding or lower blood flow in the stomach or bowel, kidney problems, swelling, or change in thinking clearly and with logic. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- Do not use progestin-only birth control pills (minipills). They may not work well. Talk with your doctor.
- If you have sex without using 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust, if you think you may be pregnant, or if you miss your period, call your doctor right away.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Mean actions or thoughts of fighting.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm.
- Very bad headache.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Very bad muscle pain or weakness.
- Bone or joint pain.
- Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation.
- Change in how contact lenses feel in the eyes.
- Weight gain.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly pancreas problems (pancreatitis) have happened with this drug. This could happen at any time during care. Signs of pancreatitis include very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very upset stomach or throwing up. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs.
- Lowered night eyesight may happen. This may be sudden. This may clear up after you stop the drug but sometimes it may not go away.
- Very bad skin problems have happened with this drug. These skin problems can start in a small area and spread over large areas of your body. Call your doctor right away if you have red, blistered, or swollen skin; your skin is peeling; or your skin gets itchy or painful.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
- Runny nose.
- Change in nails.
- Eye irritation.
- Dry mouth.
- Dry eyes.
- Dry lips.
- Hair loss.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.
- Take this drug with food.
- Take this drug at the same time of day.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Protect from heat.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
General drug facts
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.
Last updated: October 11, 2014