"By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
March 10, 2015 -- Drugs known as biologics have grabbed headlines over the years, both for their potential in fighting cancer and other diseases, and f"...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
ALITRETINOIN GEL - TOPICAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Panretin
USES: This medication is used to treat skin sores in patients with a certain type of AIDS-related cancer (Kaposi's sarcoma). Alitretinoin belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. It works by affecting the growth of skin cells.
This medication should not be used when medications taken by mouth are needed to treat the Kaposi's sarcoma (e.g., more than 10 new skin sores in the previous month, disease affects the lungs or other organs).
HOW TO USE: Use this medication on the skin only. Wait at least 20 minutes after bathing or showering before applying the medication. Apply enough medication to cover the skin sore(s) well, usually 2 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. It is not necessary to rub the medication into the sore. Allow 3 to 5 minutes for the medication to dry before covering the affected area with clothing.
Do not apply the medication on unaffected skin because doing so may cause increased irritation. Do not apply the medication in or around the eyes, nose, mouth, anus, vagina, or tip of the penis. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water.
Wash your hands after using, unless you are using this medication to treat the hands. Do not bathe, shower, or swim for at least 3 hours after using the medication.
Do not wrap, cover, or bandage the affected area unless directed to do so by your doctor.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
Do not apply other skin products, except mineral oil, on the treated sores. You may apply mineral oil at least 2 hours before or after applying this medication to help prevent skin dryness/itching.
Since this drug is absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens. You should start to see an improvement in your skin condition in as little as 2 weeks of treatment, but it may take up to 14 weeks of treatment to see the benefit.
Additional Panretin Information
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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