Bexarotene - Benefits, dosage and side effects

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Bexarotene - Benefits, dosage and side effects
Bexarotene - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Bexarotene is a drug to treat skin T-cell lymphoma or cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Bexarotene is usually used in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that has not been successfully treated with other drugs

Bexarotene belongs to the retinoid group of drugs. This drug works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. This drug should not be used carelessly and must be according to a doctor's prescription.

Bexarotene - alodokter

Bexarotene trademark: -

What is Bexarotene

Class Retinoids
Categories Prescription drugs
Benefits Treating skin T-cell lymphoma
Used by Adults and children
Bexarotene for pregnant and lactating women Category N: Not yet categorized, but this drug should not be used by pregnant women.

Bexarotene is not known to be absorbed into breast milk or not. However, mothers are prohibited from breastfeeding their babies while using this drug.

Medicine form Capsule and gel

Warning Before Using Bexarotene

Bexarotene should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. Here are some things you need to pay attention to before using bexarotene:

  • Do not use bexarotene if you are allergic to this drug or to other vitamin A-derived drugs, such as isotretinoin, or tretinoin.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are currently suffering from alcoholism, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, ovarian cancer, cataracts, mental disorders, or thyroid disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • This medicine should not be used by women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy. Consult with your doctor regarding the choice of effective contraception to prevent pregnancy while undergoing treatment with bexarotene.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during treatment with bexarotene, because this drug can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Do not consume grapefruit or alcoholic beverages while taking bexarotene, as this may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Consult your doctor if you plan to get vaccinated with a live vaccine, such as the BCG vaccine, while on treatment with bexarotene.
  • Avoid close contact with people with infectious diseases that are easily contagious, such as the flu or chickenpox, during treatment with bexarotene, as this can increase your risk of contracting it.
  • Conduct regular check-ups with your doctor while you are taking bexarotene treatment, so that your condition can be monitored.
  • See your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction, overdose, or serious side effects after using bexarotene.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Bexarotene

The dose of bexarotene will be given by the doctor according to the age, body size and he alth condition of the patient, the dosage form of the drug, and the patient's response to treatment. In general, the following are the dosages of bexarotene for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in adults according to the dosage form of the drug:

  • Bexarotene capsules

    The initial dose is 300 mg/m² body surface area, 1 time a day with meals. The dose can be increased up to 400 mg/m² body surface area, if symptoms do not improve after 8 weeks of treatment.

  • Bexarotene gel 1%

    Apply the gel on skin lesions, once every 2 days. The dose will be increased every week up to 4 times a day.

How to Use Bexarotene Correctly

Follow the doctor's advice and read the information listed on the drug packaging label before using bexarotene. Do not reduce or increase the dose without consulting your doctor first. Make sure to use the medicine regularly for the treatment to be effective.

Bexarotene in capsule form needs to be taken with food. Swallow the medicine whole, do not bite or suck on the medicine. If the contents of the capsule come into contact with the skin, wash it immediately with soap and water, then contact a doctor.

Bexarotene in gel form should only be used on skin that has lesions. Do not apply to mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, mouth, lips, anus, or genitals. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying medicine.

Apply an adequate amount of gel to problem areas of the skin. Wait 5-10 minutes before covering the area with clothes. Do not cover or bandage the treated area with plaster or gauze, except as directed by the doctor.

Wait up to 20 minutes if you want to use the medicine after bathing. If the medication has been applied, avoid bathing or swimming for at least 3 hours after applying it.

If you forget to take your medicine, use it immediately if the interval with the next dose is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Usually, the effectiveness of bexarotene is only seen after a few months. Do not stop using the drug before consulting a doctor.

Conduct a he alth check to the doctor regularly when using this drug. Routine checks need to be carried out so that the progress of the condition and the effectiveness of the drug can always be monitored.

Store bexarotene in its packaging in a cool and dry place. Keep the medicine away from sun exposure and keep the medicine out of reach of children.

Interaction of Bexarotene with Other Drugs

There are several drug interactions that can occur if bexarotene is used with certain drugs, including:

  • Increased bexarotene levels in the blood when used with gemfibrozil
  • Reduced effectiveness of live vaccines, such as BCG vaccine or influenza vaccine
  • Increased risk of severe infection when used with fingolimod or siponimod
  • Increased risk of inflammation of the pancreas when used with clomiphene, valproic acid, zidovudine, quetiapine, other vitamin A derivatives, such as isotretinoin
  • Decreased effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives
  • Increased risk of hypoglycemia when used with insulin
  • Increased risk of increased pressure within the head cavity (intracranial hypertension) when used with omadacycline or sarecycline
  • Increased risk of inflammation or injury to the mucous tissue in the mouth (oral mucositis) when used with palifermin

Side Effects and Dangers of Bexarotene

For bexarotene gel, side effects that generally can arise are peeling, pain, redness, and irritation of the skin that is smeared with the drug.

As for bexarotene capsules, side effects that can occur are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dry skin
  • Diarrhea

Consult a doctor if the above side effects do not improve or get worse. See a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to a drug or serious side effect, such as:

  • Pain, cramping or muscle stiffness
  • Heart palpitations or fast heartbeat
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as unusual weight gain, constipation, tiredness, weakness, or frequent colds
  • Symptoms of liver problems, such as severe abdominal pain, dark urine, or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Symptoms of an infectious disease, such as fever, chills, or sore throat that doesn't go away
  • Mood or mental changes, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or suicidal ideation

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