Table of Contents > Drug > Tretinoin (Systemic) Print

Tretinoin (Systemic)

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: Canada: Vesanoid®

    Uses
    • It is used to treat leukemia.
    • Tretinoin causes certain cancer cells to mature into normal cells.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Take this drug with food.
    • Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

    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 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.
    • This drug may cause a high white blood cell count. You will be closely watched by your doctor.
    • This drug may cause a health problem called retinoic-acid-APL syndrome. Very bad problems may happen in some patients who have this health problem. Call your doctor right away if you have fever, trouble breathing, or weight gain.
    • 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 tretinoin, vitamin A, 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 cholesterol or triglyceride levels, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked. 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.
    • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
    • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy while taking this drug.

    Side Effects

    • Chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Flushing. Wearing layers of clothes or summer clothes and staying in cool places may help.
    • High or low blood pressure.
    • Headache.
    • Fever.
    • Belly pain.
    • Hard stools (constipation). Drinking more liquids, working out, or adding fiber to your diet may help. Talk with your doctor about a stool softener or laxative.
    • Loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Swelling.
    • Bone pain.
    • Skin irritation.
    • Sunburn.

    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.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Any bruising or bleeding.
    • Sudden change in eyesight, eye pain, or irritation.
    • 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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