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Bexarotene oral
BEXAROTENE - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

BEXAROTENE - ORAL

(bex-AIR-oh-teen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Targretin

WARNING: Women who are pregnant, or who may become pregnant during treatment must not use this medication. Severe birth defects have occurred with the use of this drug. Two effective forms of birth control must be used for 1 month before starting, during the use of, and for 1 month after stopping this drug. If pregnancy occurs, notify your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Uses

Bexarotene is used to treat a certain type of cancer affecting the skin, certain types of blood cells (lymphocytes), and lymph nodes (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or CTCL).

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily with a meal; or take as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. 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 physician during this time.

Side Effects

Headache, rash, nausea, vomiting, dry skin, diarrhea, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: unusual fatigue, stomach pain, swelling of the hands or feet, muscle pain/stiffness/cramps, unusually slow heartbeat. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine, vision changes, unusual weight loss. 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. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: heart disease, high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, pancreatitis, diabetes, kidney problems, liver problems, thyroid problems (e.g., hypothyroidism), cataracts, allergies. This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, use a sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Because this medication can lower your body's ability to fight an infection, do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose without first washing your hands. Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine. This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Two effective forms of birth control must be used for 1 month before starting this drug, during the use of this drug, and for 1 month after stopping this drug. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast- feeding. It is recommended men use condoms during sexual activity while on this medication and for 1 month after the last dose.

Drug Interactions

This drug is not recommended for use with gemfibrozil. If you are taking gemfibrozil, your treatment may be changed to a different cholesterol/lipid-lowering drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially of: macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin), cimetidine, azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole), nefazodone, phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. This medication can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., pregnancy tests, liver and thyroid tests, cholesterol/triglycerides) will be performed to monitor your progress.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 36 and 86 degrees F (2 to 30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).