Acitretin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

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Acitretin - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Acitretin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Acitretin is a drug to treat severe psoriasis that cannot be treated with other drugs. It is also used to treat lichen planus, congenital ichthyosis, and Darier's disease

Acitretin belongs to the class of retinoid drugs. This drug works by slowing the growth of new skin cells and reducing the symptoms of inflammation, including redness and inflammation in psoriasis.

Acitretin - Alodokter

Please note that acitretin is not a cure for psoriasis. This drug is available in capsule form and should only be taken according to a doctor's prescription.

Acitretin Trademarks: Neotigason, Novatretin

What is Acitretin

Class Prescription drugs
Categories Retinoids
Benefits Relieves symptoms of severe psoriasis, lichen planus, congenital ichthyosis and Darier's disease
Consumed by Adult
Acitretin for pregnant and lactating women Category X: Animal and human studies have shown fetal abnormalities or a risk to the fetus. Drugs in this category should not be used by women who are or may become pregnant.

Acitretin can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Medicine form Capsule

Warning Before Taking Acitretin

Acitretin should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. There are several things that must be considered before taking this drug, including:

  • Do not take acitretin if you are allergic to this drug or to other retinoid drugs, such as tretinoin or isotretinoin. Tell your doctor about your history of allergies.
  • Acitretin should not be used by women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • While undergoing treatment with acitretin for up to 3 years afterward, always use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver failure, kidney failure, or hyperlipidemia. Acitretin should not be used in patients suffering from these conditions.
  • Do not donate blood while undergoing treatment with acitretin for up to 3 years afterward.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, mental disorders, such as depression, or are currently undergoing phototherapy procedures.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or engage in activities that require alertness after taking acitretin, as this drug can cause visual disturbances.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Limit activities that expose you to direct sunlight during treatment with acitretin, as this medication can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction to the drug, serious side effects, or an overdose after taking acitretin.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Acitretin

The following are general doses of acitretin for adults based on the condition to be treated:

  • Conditions: Severe psoriasis, severe lichen planus, congenital ichthyosisInitial dose of 25 mg or 30 mg, per day, for 2–4 weeks, adjusted according to patient response to treatment. Maintenance dose 25–50 mg daily for 6–8 weeks. The maximum dose is 75 mg per day.

  • Condition: Darier's diseaseInitial dose 10 mg, per day, for 2–4 weeks. If needed, the dose can be increased to 25–50 mg per day according to the patient's response to treatment.

How to Take Acitretin Correctly

Follow the doctor's advice and read the instructions for use listed on the packaging before taking acitretin. Do not increase or decrease the dose, and do not use the drug for longer than the time recommended by the doctor.

Before undergoing treatment with acitretin, patients will be asked to undergo blood tests, complete cholesterol checks, and kidney function tests. For female patients, a pregnancy test will be carried out before starting treatment with acitretin.

Take acitretin capsules 1 time a day, during or after meals. Acitretin capsules can be swallowed with a glass of milk. It is recommended to take acitretin capsules at the same time every day for maximum benefits.

If you forget to take acitretin, it is recommended to take it immediately if the break with the next schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

The results of treatment may only be seen after 2-3 months of taking this drug. Do not stop treatment without consulting your doctor first. Immediately see a doctor if skin irritation occurs or psoriasis symptoms do not improve after 2 months of treatment.

During treatment, you will be asked to do routine check-ups and undergo regular blood tests to monitor the patient's condition.

As much as possible do not use contact lenses while undergoing treatment with acitretin, because this drug can cause dry eyes. Use eye drops prescribed by a doctor to treat dry eye complaints that occur.

Store acitretin capsules in a closed place in a cool temperature. Protect this medicine from direct sunlight and keep it out of reach of children.

Acitretin Interaction with Other Drugs

The use of acitretin with other drugs can cause some interactions between drugs, such as:

  • Increased risk of hepatitis if used with methotrexate
  • Increased pressure inside the brain (intracranial) when used with tetracycline
  • Increased risk of hypervitaminosis A if used with vitamin A supplements or other retinoid drugs
  • Reduced effect of phenytoin
  • Increased blood sugar lowering effect of glyburide
  • Decreased effectiveness of birth control pills containing progestins

In addition, taking acitretin with alcoholic beverages can increase the risk of fatal side effects

Side Effects and Dangers of Acitretin

Some of the side effects that may appear after taking acitretin are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy, red, dry and flaky skin
  • Dry or irritated eyes
  • Puffy lips
  • Sneezing
  • Hair loss
  • Nose bleeds or nose feels dry
  • Sleep disorders
  • Thickened, discolored or brittle nails that break easily

Check with a doctor if the side effects above don't go away or are getting worse. Immediately see a doctor if there is an allergic reaction to the drug or a more serious side effect, such as:

  • Confused, depressed, or suicidal
  • Fever, chills, joint or muscle pain
  • Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or shortness of breath
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Body stiff and difficult to move
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Visibility problems, such as blurred vision, night blindness, double vision
  • Disorders of kidney function, which can be characterized by very small amounts of urine when urinating. Impaired liver function, which can be characterized by yellow eyeballs and skin (jaundice)

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