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Bexarotene (Systemic)

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Targretin®

    Uses
    • It is used to treat lymphoma.
    • Bexarotene harms cancer cells causing their death.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Use as you have been told, even if you are feeling better.
    • Take this drug at the same time of day.
    • Take this drug with food.
    • Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • If you are a woman of childbearing age, take a pregnancy test 1 week before you start therapy and monthly while using this drug.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from light.
    • Protect capsules from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • Do not take if you are pregnant. Your doctor will talk about the bad effects before starting you on this drug. Use 2 helpful kinds of birth control 1 month before starting this drug and for 1 month after care ends. A pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting this drug and every month while you are taking it. If you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to bexarotene or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
    • If you are breast-feeding.

    Precautions

    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
    • If you have high cholesterol or are taking a cholesterol-lowering drug, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Avoid other sources of vitamin A.
    • Talk with your doctor before using products that have aspirin, blood thinners, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo, ibuprofen or like products, pain drugs, or vitamin E.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
    • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
    • Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust 1 month before care begins, during care, and for at least 1 month after care ends.
    • If you are a man and have sex, protect your partner from pregnancy. Use 2 kinds of birth control that you can trust 1 month before care begins, during care, and for at least 1 month after care ends.

    Side Effects

    • High cholesterol level.
    • High triglyceride level.
    • Chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Headache.
    • Belly pain.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Hair loss. Hair most often grows back when this drug is stopped.
    • Swelling in the arms or legs.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Not able to eat.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • For women, if you get pregnant while taking this drug or within 1 month after care ends.
    • For men, if your woman partner gets pregnant while you are being treated or within 1 month after care ends.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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