Acitretin: Dosages, Functions & Uses, Prevention & Warnings, Side effects, Drug Interactions,

Functions & Uses

What is the drug Acitretin used for?

Acitretin is a drug for the treatment of severe psoriasis and other skin disorders in adults. Acitretin is a retinoid that works by promoting the growth and development of healthy skin. This medicine will continue to work after you stop taking it, but after some time, the skin condition returns and you may need to take it again.

Acitretin should not be used to treat women who can still give birth to children unless many other forms of treatment have been applied but still fail. Acitretin should not be used during pregnancy because it causes birth defects in humans. If you still might be pregnant, it is strongly recommended to read, understand, and follow the pregnancy warning for Acitretin.

What are the rules for using Acitretin?

Read the drug guide and the Patient Information Brochure provided by the pharmacy, if available, before you get Acitretin and every time you buy again. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Read and complete the Patient Agreement Documents and Licensing Information before deciding to take this medicine.

Take this medicine as prescribed, usually once a day along with your main meal.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not take this medicine more often or increase the dose without consulting your doctor. This way will not make your condition more quickly, it can actually increase the risk of side effects.

It may take 2 to 3 months before the full benefits of this drug are seen.

Use this medication regularly to get the best benefits. Remember to use it at the same time every day.

Because this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and can harm the unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may be pregnant should not be able to take this medicine or breathe in dust from capsules.

How to save Acitretin?

Store at room temperature, keep away from direct light and a humid place. Do not store in the bathroom. Don’t freeze it. Other brands of this drug may have different storage rules. Observe the storage instructions on the product packaging or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not flush medicine in the toilet or in the sewer unless instructed. Discard this product when it has expired or if it is no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company about how to safely dispose of your product.

Prevention & Warnings

What should be considered before using the drug Acitretin?

You should not take this drug if you are allergic to Acitretin or similar drugs (such as Accutane, Altinac, Avita, Renova, Retin-A, etc.), or if you have:

  • Severe kidney disease
  • High levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in your blood
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you also use methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
  • If you also use tetracycline antibiotics, including demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap) and others

Acitretin is only available if you have agreed to use a contraceptive and undergo the necessary number of pregnancy tests, and you also need to agree that as long as you take Acitretin and 2 months later you will not consume alcoholic beverages.

To make sure you can be safe in taking Acitretin, then tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Kidney disease or liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes (You may need to check your blood sugar more often)
  • Depression
  • When you receive phototherapy
  • When you drink a lot of alcohol
  • If you have experienced etretinate (Tegison or Tigason)

Is the drug Acitretin safe for pregnant and lactating women?

There is no adequate research on the risks of using this drug in pregnant or nursing women. Always consult your doctor to consider the potential benefits and risks before using this medicine. This drug is included in the risk of pregnancy category X.

  • A = No risk
  • B = No risk in several studies
  • C = Maybe risky
  • D = There is positive evidence of risk
  • X = Contraindications
  • N = Unknown

Side effects

What side effects might Acitretin have?

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following signs of an allergic reaction: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Acitretin and contact your doctor if you have serious side effects, such as:

  • Blurred vision, headaches or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden sharp decline in night vision
  • Feelings of depression, aggression, unusual experience or behavior, the mind wants to hurt oneself
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Loss of feeling in the hands or feet, difficulty moving, pain in the back, joints, muscles, or bones
  • Thrush, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Increased blood sugar levels (more frequent thirst, increased urination intensity, more frequent hunger, dry mouth, fruit breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss)
  • Chest pain or heavy feeling, spread to arms or shoulders, sweating, shortness of breath
  • Sudden severe headache, confusion, unable to speak normally, problems with body balance, numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body)
  • Suddenly coughing, wheezing, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat
  • Pain, swelling, parts of one or both feet feel warm or reddish

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Dry eyes, cracked or peeling skin, hair loss
  • Itching, scaling, or feeling of stickiness in your skin
  • Brittle nails and skin
  • Dry mouth, dry or runny nose, nosebleeds
  • Mild headache, muscle tightness
  • Nausea, stomach ache, diarrhea
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, or tingling)
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Ears ringing

Not everyone experiences the following side effects. There may be some side effects not mentioned above. If you have concerns about certain side effects, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Drug Interactions

What medicines can interfere with the action of the drug Acitretin?

Although some drugs may not be taken together at all, in other cases some drugs can also be used together although interactions may occur. In cases like this, the doctor may change the dose, or do other prevention things that are needed. Let your doctor know if you are taking other drugs both over the counter and from a prescription.

Using this drug with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medicine or change some of the other medicines that you take.

  • Chlortetracycline
  • Demeclocycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Lymecycline
  • Meclocycline
  • Methacycline
  • Minocycline
  • Oxytetracycline
  • Rolitetracycline
  • Tetracycline

Using this drug with any of the following medicines can cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If the two drugs are indeed prescribed together, then your doctor can change the dose or how often you use one or both of these drugs.

  • Levonorgestrel

Can certain foods and drinks interfere with the action of the drug Acitretin?

Certain medicines should not be used when eating or when eating certain foods because drug interactions can occur. Consuming alcohol or tobacco with certain drugs can also cause interactions to occur. Discuss your use of drugs with food, alcohol, or tobacco with your health care provider.

What health conditions can interfere with the performance of the drug Acitretin?

Other health conditions that you have can affect the use of this drug. Always tell your doctor if you have other health problems, especially:

  • Depression, has a history of depression
  • Problems with vision or
  • Heart disease
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in blood)
  • Hyperostosis (abnormal bone growth)
  • Hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides or high blood fat)
  • Hypervitaminosis A (too much vitamin A in the body), or have a history of having hypervitaminosis A
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or
  • Pseudotumor cerebri (brain problems)
  • Psychosis, or have a history of psychosis – Use with caution. Might make conditions worse.
  • Diabetes mellitus, or have a family history of living with diabetes mellitus
  • Obesity – Use with caution. Can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Severe hyperlipidemia (high fat in the blood)
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Severe liver disease – Should not be used in patients with this condition


The information provided is not a substitute for a doctor’s prescription. ALWAYS consult a doctor or pharmacist before starting treatment.

What is the dose of the drug Acitretin for adults?

Usual Adult Doses for Psoriasis:

  • Initial dose: 25-50 mg orally once a day, given as a single dose with a main meal
  • Treatment dose: 25-50 mg orally once a day, given to individual patient responses to initial treatment

Comment: When used with phototherapy, health care providers must reduce the dose of phototherapy, depending on the individual response of the patient.

Use: Treatment of severe psoriasis in adults.

What is the dose of the drug Acitretin for children?

Acitretin is not recommended for use in children <18 years.

In what dosages and preparations is Acitretin available?

Kapsul, oral: 10mg, 17.5mg, 25mg

What should be done in an emergency or overdose?

In cases of emergency or overdose, contact your local emergency services provider (119) or immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Symptoms of overdose include:

  • Headache
  • Dizzy
  • Gag
  • Stomach feels bad
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Your appetite is gone
  • Bone or joint pain

If a woman who may still be pregnant, overdoses on Acitretin, she must take a pregnancy test after an overdose and use two forms of contraception for the next 3 years.

What to do if you forget to take medication or forget to take medicine?

If you forget one dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. But when it is nearing the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to the usual dosage schedule. Do not double the dose.


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