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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Targretin Topical

Generic Name: bexarotene (topical) (Pronunciation: beks AIR oh teen)

What is bexarotene topical (Targretin Topical)?

Bexarotene topical is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Bexarotene topical (for the skin) is used to treat skin lesions caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Bexarotene is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.

Bexarotene topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of bexarotene topical (Targretin Topical)?

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

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

  • severe skin irritation (pain, burning, stinging, itching) after applying this medication;
  • severe skin rash or redness; or
  • swelling, bleeding, or tearing of treated skin.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild burning, stinging, or itching;
  • mild pain, redness, or irritation; or
  • skin dryness or peeling.

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 topical (Targretin Topical)?

Bexarotene topical can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant, or 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 using bexarotene topical. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 30 days after treatment ends. If you are a woman, you must have a negative pregnancy test before you start using bexarotene topical, and you should start the medication on the second or third day of a normal menstrual period.

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.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to bexarotene, or if you have liver or kidney disease. Avoid taking a vitamin A supplement without your doctor's advice. Use only the amount your doctor recommends.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Bexarotene topical can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors.

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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