Alitretinoin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

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Alitretinoin - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Alitretinoin - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Alitretinoin is a drug to treat AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma symptoms that appear on the skin. In addition, this drug can also be used to treat severe eczema on the hands that has not been successfully treated with topical corticosteroids

Kaposi's sarcoma is a type of cancer that originates from the blood vessels and lymph nodes. This cancer can cause complaints and symptoms on the skin, such as red or purple patches that don't hurt.

Alitretinoin - Alodokter
Alitretinoin - Alodokter

Alitretinoin is a type of retinoid drug. In the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma, alitretinoin will regulate the growth of skin cells and prevent the growth of cancer cells. This drug is available in gel and capsule form and can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription.

Alitretinoin trademark: -

What is Alitretinoin

Class Prescription drugs
Categories Retinoids
Benefits To treat skin lesions caused by Kaposi's sarcoma and severe eczema
Used by Adult
Alitretinoin for pregnant and lactating women Category D: There is positive evidence of risks to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with life-threatening situations.

It is not known whether alitretinoin is absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medication without telling your doctor.

Medicine form Gel, capsule

Warning Before Using Alitretinoin

Before using this medicine, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • Do not use alitretinoin if you are allergic to this drug. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are currently suffering from T-cell lymphoma, a type of skin cancer.
  • Do not use alitretinoin for children under 18 years of age.
  • Do not use alitretinoin capsules if you have liver failure, kidney failure, hypercholesterolemia, high triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia), hypothyroidism, excess vitamin A in the body (hypervitaminosis A), peanut or soy allergy.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during treatment with alitretinoin, as this drug can cause the skin to become more sensitive to light. Always use sunscreen when you are outdoors.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction, serious side effects, or overdose after taking alitretinoin.

Alitretinoin Dosage and Instructions

The following are general doses of alitretinoin for adults based on the patient's condition and drug form:

  • Condition: Lesions on the skin due to Kaposi's sarcoma

    Gel form: Apply an adequate amount of gel on the skin lesions, 2 times a day.

  • Condition: Severe eczema on hands

    Capsule form: Initial dose is 30 mg, once a day. If side effects occur, the dose can be reduced to 10 mg, once a day.

How to Use Alitretinoin Correctly

Follow the doctor's advice and read the instructions on the medicine package. Do not increase or decrease the dose without the doctor's permission, because it is feared that it can worsen the condition experienced.

Alitretinoin capsules can be taken after meals. Try to take the medicine at the same time every day for maximum treatment.

Several types of alitretinoin capsules contain soybean oil. Always read the content contained in the medicine you take. If you are allergic to soy, do not take alitretinoin products that contain this ingredient.

Wash your hands with mild soap and water, before and after using alitretinoin gel, unless you are treating the skin on your hands.

Apply this medication only on the skin lesions that you want to treat. Try not to apply the medication in the area around the lesion. Avoid applying alitretinoin to areas of mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nostrils, or mouth.

Let the alitretinoin gel dry for 3-5 minutes before covering the treated skin with clothing. Do not bathe or swim for at least 3 hours after applying the medicine.

Do not cover the treated skin area with a bandage or cloth, unless advised by a doctor.

The results of using alitretinoin gel may be visible after 14 weeks or more. Continue to take the medication as directed and let your doctor know if your symptoms do not improve.

Store alitretinoin at room temperature and avoid direct sunlight. Keep medicine out of reach of children.

Alitretinoin Interactions with Other Drugs

The following are the effects of drug interactions that can occur if alitretinoin is used together with other drugs:

  • Increased risk of sunburn when used with aminolevulinic acid, methoxsalen, or porifimers
  • Increased risk of skin irritation or dryness when used with topical salicylic acid, or topical sulfur
  • Increased risk of toxic effects from topical mosquito repellent products containing DEET
  • Increased levels of alitretinoin when used with ketoconazole
  • Increased risk of excess levels of vitamin A in the body (hypervitaminosis A) if used with vitamin A supplements or retinoid drugs
  • Increased risk of pseudotumor cerebral if used with tetracycline

Side Effects and Dangers of Alitretinoin

Some of the side effects that can occur after using alitretinoin are:

  • Warmness or tingling feeling in the skin
  • Skin color darkens or becomes lighter
  • Skin redness or itching
  • Dry skin

Consult your doctor if the above side effects do not subside immediately or get worse. You need to see a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to a drug or a more serious side effect, such as:

  • severe redness or swelling of the skin
  • Cracked, sore, watery, or crusty skin
  • Skin peeling or scaly
  • Skin blisters

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