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Panretin Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 3/7/2016

Panretin (alitretinoin) Gel 0.1% is a topical (for the skin) retinoid used to treat skin lesions caused by AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. Serious side effects are not expected with Panretin Gel. Common side effects of Panretin Gel include redness, rash, pain, burning, itching, stinging, tingling, irritation, warmth, peeling, swelling or inflammation, numbness, cracking, crusting, scabbing, or drainage at the application site.

Panretin gel should initially be applied two (2) times a day to cutaneous KS lesions. A sufficient dose of gel should be applied to cover the lesion with a generous coating. Panretin may interact with products that contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), a common component of insect repellent products. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Panretin is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of possible risk to the infant, breastfeeding is not recommended while using Panretin.

Our Panretin (alitretinoin) Gel 0.1% Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Panretin in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Serious side effects are not likely to occur. Stop using alitretinoin topical and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives).

If you experience any of the following less serious side effects at the application site(s), continue to use alitretinoin topical and notify your doctor

  • redness;
  • itching;
  • irritation;
  • warmth;
  • burning, stinging, or pain;
  • rash;
  • peeling;
  • swelling or inflammation;
  • numbness or tingling;
  • cracking, crusting, or scabbing; or
  • drainage.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Panretin (Alitretinoin)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Panretin Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Redness, rash, pain, burning, itching, stinging, or tingling at the application site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blistering/crusting/oozing/peeling of the skin, severe burning/stinging of the skin, swelling of the skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Panretin (Alitretinoin)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Panretin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


The safety of Panretin® gel has been assessed in clinical studies of 385 patients with AIDS-related KS. Adverse events associated with the use of Panretin® gel in patients with AIDS-related KS occurred almost exclusively at the site of application. The dermal toxicity begins as erythema; with continued application of Panretin® gel, erythema may increase and edema may develop. Dermal toxicity may become treatment-limiting, with intense erythema, edema, and vesiculation. Usually, however, adverse events are mild to moderate in severity; they led to withdrawal from the study in only 7% of the patients. Severe local (application site) skin adverse events occurred in about 10% of patients in the U.S. study (versus 0% in the vehicle control). Table 2 lists the adverse events that occurred at the application site with an incidence of at least 5% during the double-blind phase in the Panretin® gel-treated group and in the vehicle control group in either of the two controlled studies. Adverse events were reported at other sites but generally were similar in the two groups.

TABLE 2: Adverse Events with an Incidence of at Least 5% at the Application Site in Either Controlled Study in Patients Receiving Panretin® Gel or Vehicle Control

Adverse Event Term Study 1 Study 2
Panretin® Gel
N=134 Pts. %
Vehicle Gel
N=134 Pts. %
Panretin® Gel
N=36 Pts. %
Vehicle Gel
N=46 Pts. %
Rash1 77 11 25 4
Pain2 34 7 0 4
Pruritus3 11 4 8 4
Exfoliative dermatitis4 9 2 3 0
Skin disorder5 8 1 0 0
Paresthesia6 3 0 22 7
Edema7 8 3 3 0
Includes Investigator terms:
1 Erythema, scaling, irritation, redness, rash, dermatitis
2 Burning, pain
3 Itching, pruritus
4 Flaking, peeling, desquamation, exfoliation
5 Excoriation, cracking, scab, crusting, drainage, eschar, fissure or oozing
6 Stinging, tingling
7 Edema, swelling, inflammation

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Panretin (Alitretinoin)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


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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