August 30, 2016
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Targretin Gel

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Targretin Gel

Targretin Gel Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using bexarotene topical (Targretin Gel)?

You should not use bexarotene topical if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant.

To make sure you can safely use bexarotene topical, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use bexarotene topical if you are pregnant, or if you are a man and your sexual partner is pregnant.

  • If you are a woman, you must have a negative pregnancy test within 7 days before you start using bexarotene topical. A pregnancy test is also required every month during treatment with bexarotene topical.
  • Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, if you stop using birth control, or if you miss a menstrual period.
  • If you are a man, use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using a condom for at least 30 days after you stop using bexarotene topical.
  • Use at least 2 reliable forms of birth control while either sexual partner is using bexarotene topical. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 30 days after you stop using bexarotene topical.
  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using bexarotene topical.

It is not known whether bexarotene topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using bexarotene topical.

How should I use bexarotene topical (Targretin Gel)?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Bexarotene topical is usually applied once every other day for the first week. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose each week, until you are applying the medication 2 or more times every day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Women who use bexarotene topical should start the medication on the second or third day of a normal menstrual period.

Wash your hands before and after using bexarotene topical, unless you are using the medication to treat the skin on your hands.

Apply enough gel to cover each lesion. Allow the gel to dry before covering with clothing. Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage.

Avoid applying the medication to unaffected areas. If medication accidentally gets on areas that do not need treatment, wash it off.

It may take up to several months before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using bexarotene topical.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Side Effects Centers

Additional Targretin Gel Information

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.

Women's Health

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