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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Soriatane

Generic Name: acitretin (Pronunciation: A si TRE tin)

What is acitretin (Soriatane)?

Acitretin is a retinoid, which is a form of vitamin A.

Acitretin is used to treat severe psoriasis in adults. Acitretin is not a cure for psoriasis, and you may relapse after you stop taking this medication.

Acitretin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Soriatane 10 mg

brown/white, imprinted with SORIATANE 10 mg

Soriatane 25 mg

brown/yellow, imprinted with SORIATANE 25 mg

What are the possible side effects of acitretin (Soriatane)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using acitretin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blurred vision, headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with nausea and vomiting;
  • sudden decrease in night vision;
  • depressed mood, aggression, unusual thoughts or behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • loss of feeling in your hands or feet, trouble moving, pain in your back, joints, muscles, or bones;
  • mouth sores, swollen or bleeding gums;
  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, shortness of breath;
  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with speech or balance, numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);
  • sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate; or
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dry eyes, chapped or peeling skin, hair loss;
  • itching, scaling, or sticky feeling on your skin;
  • weak nails, fragile skin;
  • dry mouth, dry or runny nose, nosebleeds;
  • mild headache, muscle tightness;
  • nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • ringing in your ears.

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 acitretin (Soriatane)?

Acitretin can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use acitretin if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within 3 years after you stop taking acitretin. Before and during treatment, and for 3 years after treatment, you must have negative pregnancy tests at regular intervals to make sure you are not pregnant.

Do not donate blood while taking acitretin and for at least 3 years after you stop taking it. Donated blood may be given to a pregnant woman and could cause birth defects if the blood contains acitretin.

Women taking acitretin must not drink alcohol during treatment and for at least 2 months after treatment ends. Alcohol can cause acitretin to convert to another substance in your body that can take 3 years or longer to clear from your body. Read the labels of all foods and medicines you consume to make sure they do not contain alcohol.

Acitretin is available only under an agreement that you will use birth control and undergo required pregnancy testing, and that you will not consume alcohol while you are taking acitretin and for 2 months after you stop taking it.

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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