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Drugs reference index «Bexarotene»


Generic Name: Bexarotene (beks-AIR-oh-teen)Brand Name: Targretin

Bexarotene may cause serious birth defects if used by a pregnant woman. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant during treatment must not use Bexarotene .

Women must have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week of starting Bexarotene and must take a pregnancy test every month while taking Bexarotene . Two effective forms of birth control (eg, condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, IUDs, spermicides) must be used for 1 month before starting Bexarotene , during the use of Bexarotene , and for 1 month after stopping Bexarotene . If pregnancy occurs before, during, or within 1 month after treatment with Bexarotene , notify your doctor immediately.

Men with partners who are pregnant, are possibly pregnant, or could become pregnant must use a latex condom while taking Bexarotene and for at least 1 month after the last dose is taken.

Bexarotene is used for:

Treating skin conditions caused by certain cancers in patients who have not responded to other treatments.

Bexarotene is a retinoid. It works by inhibiting the growth of some cancer cells.

Do NOT use Bexarotene if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Bexarotene or similar medicines
  • you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • you are taking gemfibrozil

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Bexarotene :

Some medical conditions may interact with Bexarotene . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems (eg, biliary tract disease), kidney problems, pancreatic problems, high cholesterol levels (hyperlipidemia), thyroid problems, diabetes, or a history of gall bladder disease
  • if you suffer from alcoholism or you regularly drink alcohol
  • if you are taking erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Bexarotene . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), erythromycin, or gemfibrozil because the side effects of Bexarotene may be increased
  • Phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin because the effectiveness of Bexarotene may be decreased
  • Insulin, multivitamins that contain vitamin A, other oral hypoglycemic medicines (eg, troglitazone), sulfonylureas (eg, glyburide), or vitamin A because side effects may be increased by Bexarotene
  • Tamoxifen because effectiveness may be decreased by Bexarotene

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Bexarotene may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Bexarotene :

Use Bexarotene as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Bexarotene with food or just after a meal.
  • Swallow Bexarotene whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may affect the amount of Bexarotene in your blood. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet.
  • Do not take large doses of vitamin A while taking Bexarotene .
  • If capsules are broken or leaking, do not touch the capsules or their contents. If capsule contents accidentally get on your skin, wash the area immediately with soap and water and contact your doctor.
  • It may take several weeks to months for Bexarotene to work. Do not stop using Bexarotene without first checking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Bexarotene , take it as soon as possible with food. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Bexarotene .

Important safety information:

  • Bexarotene may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Bexarotene . Using Bexarotene alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Bexarotene may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have thoroughly washed your hands first. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Bexarotene may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Bexarotene . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • Men with sexual partners who are pregnant, are possibly pregnant, or could become pregnant must use a latex condom while taking Bexarotene and for at least 1 month after the last dose is taken.
  • Diabetes patients - Bexarotene may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely and ask your doctor before adjusting the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell counts, blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, liver function tests, thyroid function tests, and eye exams, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Bexarotene with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Bexarotene if you are pregnant. You must have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week of starting Bexarotene . You will be required to take a pregnancy test every month while you are taking Bexarotene . For 1 month before taking Bexarotene , you must abstain from sexual intercourse or use 2 effective methods of birth control at the same time and continue these methods for at least 1 month after your last dose. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. It is unknown if Bexarotene is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Bexarotene .

Possible side effects of Bexarotene :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; dry skin; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; trouble sleeping; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloating or swelling of ankles, feet, or hands; changes in vision; chest pain; chills; confusion; dark urine or pale stools; fever; severe stomach or back pain with continuing nausea or vomiting; red, swollen, or blistered skin; sore throat; unusual fatigue; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Bexarotene :

Store Bexarotene between 36 and 77 degrees F (2 and 25 degrees C). Do not freeze. Store away from excessive heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Bexarotene out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Bexarotene , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Bexarotene is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Bexarotene . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Bexarotene Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • bexarotene Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • bexarotene Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Targretin Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...

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