What is this medicine?
BEXAROTENE (bexs AIR oh teen) is used to treat the skin symptoms of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Targretin
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- gall bladder disease
- high cholesterol or triglycerides
- history of pancreatitis
- if you often drink alcohol
- liver disease
- thyroid disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to bexarotene, vitamin A, other vitamin A analogs (i.e., retinoids), other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Take all of your dose at one time with or immediately after a meal. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
- female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills, patches, rings, or injections
- medicines for diabetes, like insulin, glipizide, or glyburide
- vitamin A and other supplements containing vitamin A
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. If you are capable of becoming pregnant, you must have a pregnancy test within 1 week before you start therapy and monthly while you are taking this medicine to confirm you are not pregnant. Women must use effective birth control continuously starting 1 month prior to beginning this medicine and until 1 month after stopping it. It is recommended that you use 2 reliable forms of birth control together. Because this drug may decrease the effect of hormonal birth control, 1 of the forms of birth control should be non-hormonal. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Men who have a partner who is pregnant or who is capable of becoming pregnant should use a condom during sexual activity while taking this medicine and for 1 month after stopping it.
You may need blood work done while you are taking this medicine.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- blurred vision or changes in vision
- low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
- nausea, vomiting
- signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism like cold skin, constipation, dry skin, feeling weak or tired, loss of memory
- signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
- signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
- severe back or stomach pain
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- loss of appetite
- swelling of the ankles, feet, hands
- trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store between 2 and 25 degrees C (36 and 77 degrees F). Protect from heat and moisture. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy