Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Targretin
Generic Name: bexarotene (Pronunciation: beks AIR oh teen)
What is bexarotene (Targretin)?
The exact way bexarotene works is unknown, but it is believed to inhibit the growth of tumor cells.
Bexarotene is used to treat skin lesions of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in patients who have not responded to or not tolerated other therapies.
Bexarotene may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of bexarotene (Targretin)?
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking bexarotene and seek emergency medical attention:
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take bexarotene and talk to your doctor if you experience:
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.
What is the most important information I should know about bexarotene (Targretin)?
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light (e.g. sunlamps). Bexarotene may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.
Swallow each capsule whole. Do not chew them, dissolve them in liquid, or allow them to dissolve in your mouth.
Your doctor will want to monitor the levels of lipids (triglycerides and cholesterol) and thyroid hormones in your blood periodically during treatment with bexarotene. Treatment may be necessary if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels become elevated, or if your thyroid hormone levels are low.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with bexarotene. The interaction could have potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
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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