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Tretinoin Oral capsule

It is similar to vitamin A

Generic Name: tretinoin oral

Brand Names: Vesanoid

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

    Limit to Qualified Personnel
  • Administer only to patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) under the strict supervision of a qualified clinician experienced in the management of patients with acute leukemia.
  • Appropriate diagnostic and treatment facilities must be readily available in case the patient develops severe toxicity, including respiratory compromise.
  • Use only when the potential benefits are thought to outweigh the possible risks of therapy.

    Retinoic Acid-APL (RA-APL) Syndrome
  • Clinical manifestations of the syndrome (fever, dyspnea, acute respiratory distress, weight gain, radiographic pulmonary infiltrates, pleural and pericardial effusions, edema, and hepatic, renal, and multiorgan failure), with or without leukocytosis, have occurred in about 25% of patients.
  • Occasionally accompanied by impaired myocardial contractility and episodic hypotension.
  • Progressive hypoxemia has required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation and may be fatal (due to multiorgan failure).
  • High-dose corticosteroid therapy administered at first suspicion of the syndrome may reduce morbidity or mortality. (See RA-APL Syndrome under Cautions.)

  • Rapidly evolving leukocytosis occurs in approximately 40% of patients and is associated with an increased risk of life-threatening complications.
  • High leukocyte count (i.e., >5000/mm3) at diagnosis increases risk of further rapid increase of leukocyte count.
  • Initiate high-dose corticosteroid treatment immediately if leukocytosis and signs or symptoms of RA-APL syndrome are present together.
  • Consider adding full-dose chemotherapy (including an anthracycline) to tretinoin. (See Leukocytosis under Cautions.)

    Teratogenic Effects
  • Known teratogen; special precautions and instruction are necessary in women of childbearing potential or pregnant women receiving the drug. (See Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality under Cautions.)
  • Inform patients of the risks of fetal harm and contraceptive failure.

What is this medicine?

TRETINOIN (TRET i noe in) is a medicine belonging to a class called the retinoids. It is similar to vitamin A. It is used to treat certain leukemias, such as acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • high cholesterol
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tretinoin, vitamin A, parabens, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • other retinoids
  • vitamin A supplements

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • aminocaproic acid
  • aprotinin
  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • diltiazem
  • erythromycin
  • medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole
  • medicines that increase your sensitivity to sunlight such as tetracyclines or sulfa drugs
  • methotrexate
  • orlistat
  • phenobarbital
  • rifampin
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • tranexamic acid
  • verapamil

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks.

This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.

This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.

Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.

Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.

Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. You should have a pregnancy test within 1 week before starting this medicine. Use 2 kinds of birth control and take monthly pregnancy tests while you are taking this medicine and for 1 month after stopping this medicine. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.

Last Updated: September 02, 2009
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