Brand Names: Targretin
Generic Name: bexarotene
- What is bexarotene (Targretin)?
- What are the possible side effects of bexarotene (Targretin)?
- What is the most important information I should know about bexarotene (Targretin)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking bexarotene (Targretin)?
- How should I use bexarotene (Targretin)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Targretin)?
- What happens if I overdose (Targretin)?
- What should I avoid while using bexarotene (Targretin)?
- What other drugs will affect bexarotene (Targretin)?
- Where can I get more information (Targretin)?
What is bexarotene (Targretin)?
Bexarotene is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Bexarotene may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of bexarotene (Targretin)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using bexarotene and call your doctor at once if you have:
- blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
- low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;
- pancreatitis--severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting; or
- thyroid symptoms--extreme tired feeling, dry skin, joint pain or stiffness, muscle pain or weakness, hoarse voice, feeling more sensitive to cold temperatures, weight gain.
Common side effects may include:
- headache, weakness;
- nausea, stomach pain;
- rash, dry skin; or
- swelling in your hands or feet.
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 the most important information I should know about bexarotene (Targretin)?
Bexarotene can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. You will need to have a negative pregnancy test every month during treatment.
Do not use bexarotene if you are a man and your sexual partner is pregnant.
Use at least 2 reliable forms of birth control while either sexual partner is taking bexarotene, and for at least 30 days after treatment ends.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking bexarotene (Targretin)?
You should not use bexarotene if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant.
To make sure bexarotene is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
- a history of pancreatitis;
- liver disease;
- a thyroid disorder;
- gallbladder disease;
- if you drink large amounts of alcohol; or
- if you are allergic to any other retinoids (isotretinoin, tretinoin, acitretin, Accutane, Soriatane, Vesanoid).
Bexarotene can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use bexarotene 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 7 days before you start taking bexarotene, and once per month during treatment.
- Stop taking the medicine 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 taking bexarotene.
- Use at least 2 reliable forms of birth control while either sexual partner is taking bexarotene, and for at least 30 days after treatment ends.
- At least one of your forms of birth control should be non-hormonal (condom, cervical cap, IUD, or diaphragm with spermicide).
- Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is taking bexarotene.
It is not known whether bexarotene passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using bexarotene.
How should I use bexarotene (Targretin)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take with food.
Swallow each capsule whole. Do not chew them, dissolve them in liquid, or allow them to dissolve in your mouth.
While using bexarotene, you will need frequent blood tests.
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.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What happens if I miss a dose (Targretin)?
Take the missed dose with food as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose (Targretin)?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using bexarotene (Targretin)?
Avoid taking a vitamin A supplement without your doctor's advice. Use only the amount your doctor recommends.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with bexarotene and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Bexarotene can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
What other drugs will affect bexarotene (Targretin)?
Many drugs can interact with bexarotene. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with bexarotene, especially:
- an antibiotic--clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin;
- birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;
- antifungal medicine--itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole;
- other cancer medications--paclitaxel, tamoxifen; or
- seizure medication--carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with bexarotene. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
Where can I get more information (Targretin)?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about bexarotene.
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