Bexarotene


Brand Name: Targretin
Active Ingredient: bexarotene
Strength(s): 75mg
Dosage Form(s): Capsules
Company Name: Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
Availability: Prescription only
*Date Approved by FDA: December 29, 1999
*Approval by FDA does not mean that the drug is available for consumers at this time.

What is Targretin used for?

Targretin is used to treat skin problems from a disease called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, or CTCL. Your doctor must supervise the use of Targretin capsules.

Who should not take Targretin?

* Do not take Targretin capsules if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant.
* Do not take Targretin capsules if you are allergic to this medicine.

Special Warnings with Targretin:

Do not take Targretin capsules if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant.

* Targretin capsules may harm your fetus unborn baby. You should contact your doctor right away if you believe or suspect you are pregnant while you are taking Targretin capsules and until one month after you stop taking Targretin capsules.
* If you are capable of becoming pregnant, you must have a pregnancy test within one week before you start Targretin and monthly while you are taking Targretin, confirming you are not pregnant.
* You must use effective birth control continuously starting one month before beginning treatment with Targretin capsules until one month after you stop taking Targretin. It is recommended that two reliable forms of birth control be used together.

If you are male and your partner is pregnant or capable of becoming pregnant, you should discuss with your doctor the precautions you should take.

General Precautions with Targretin:

Your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight while taking this medicine. Individuals taking Targretin should minimize exposure to sunlight and not use a sunlamp.

What should I tell my doctor or health care provider?

Before you start to take this medicine tell your doctor if:

* You are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
* You have or previously had an inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis).
* You are breastfeeding.
* You are taking gemfibrozil (Lopid), a medication to reduce high triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood.
* You are allergic to retinoid medications (for example: Accutane [isotretinoin], Soriatane [acitretin], Tegison [etretinate], Vesinoid [tretinoin]).
* You have or ever had high triglyceride (a fatty substance) levels in your blood.
* You have diabetes.
* You have or have had gall bladder disease.
* You have or have had any liver disease.
* You have or have had kidney disease.
* You regularly drink more than a small amount of alcohol.
* You are currently taking any prescription medication especially for fungal infections, bacterial infections, or seizures.
* You often eat grapefruit or drink a lot of grapefruit juice.
* You take vitamin supplements.

What are some possible side effects of Targretin? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Targretin. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)

The most common side effect is an increase in blood lipids (fats in the blood). Periodic blood tests will be needed to check blood levels of lipids, including triglycerides and cholesterol. Medication may be needed to control high fat levels in the blood.

Another common side effect is underactive thyroid. Periodic blood tests will be needed to detect thyroid activity. Medication to control underactive thyroid may be necessary.

An infrequent side effect of Targretin is pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas). Symptoms of pancreatitis include persistent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal or back pain. If you develop any of these symptoms while taking Targretin, contact your doctor immediately.

For more detailed information about Targretin, ask your health care provider.


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