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Etretinate 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.




WARNING: Because etretinate has caused serious birth defects, do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. After stopping treatment, the amount of time to pass before you may safely become pregnant has not been determined. Consult your doctor about this. Females who are able to have children must not use this medication unless they have a negative pregnancy test 2 weeks before starting this drug; will start therapy only on the 2nd or 3rd day of next normal menstrual period; use reliable methods of birth control at least 1 month before using etretinate, while using etretinate, and for an extended period of time after stopping this medication; are counseled about the dangers of using this medication while pregnant. Etretinate use has been linked to liver problems (hepatitis) and increased fluid pressure on the brain (pseudotumor cerebri). Notify your doctor immediately if you develop any of these symptoms: yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach pain, unusual fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting, or vision changes. Your doctor will decide whether to continue using etretinate.


This medication is used to treat severe cases of psoriasis.

How To Use

Take this medication with food to prevent stomach upset. Do not increase your dose or take this more often than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but side effects may be increased.

Side Effects

Dry nose, nosebleeds, chapped lips, mouth sores, increased thirst, sore tongue, bleeding gums, dry mouth, cold sores, dry or irritated eyes, dry skin, peeling or scaly skin, hair loss, easy bruising, muscle aches, nausea, stomach upset, cough or swelling of the hands or feet may occur. Inform your doctor if any of these effects continue or become bothersome. Notify your doctor if you experience: vision problems, chest pain, tightness in the chest, abnormal pulse, dizziness, vomiting, severe headache, yellowing of the eyes/skin (jaundice). Psoriasis may worsen during the first few days of therapy. Because this medication causes dry, irritated eyes, contact lens wearers may be less tolerant of their contacts during therapy. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, including: liver disease, eye problems, diabetes, heart disease, any allergies (especially drug allergies). It is recommended that persons using this medication not donate blood for at least three years after stopping therapy. This will prevent the possibility of your blood being given to a pregnant woman. This drug should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Avoid pregnancy while using this drug, and for an extended period after treatment stops. Consult your doctor. Use two reliable forms of birth control together, starting one month before treatment, during and for an extended period after treatment stops. Consult your doctor. Semen may pose a risk to a pregnant woman if the male is using this drug. Consult your doctor. This drug is excreted into breast milk. Use of this medication is not recommended while breast-feeding. Consult your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take, especially: any vitamin products or vitamin A supplements. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


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


Periodic lab tests and eye exams will be done to monitor the effectiveness of this therapy.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take it if it is near the time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom.