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Acitretin - Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Written & Compiled by Anushta Chandrapalan, M.Sc  | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team
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Information about Acitretin

Generic Name : Acitretin
Pronunciation : A-si-TRE-tin
Latest prescription information about Acitretin. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, warnings and its storage instructions . Also listed are the International and Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
Therapeutic Classification : Antipsoriatics

Trade Names/Brand Names of Acitretin

India : 

International : 

Neotigason, Soriatane, Soriatane CK

Why is Acitretin Prescribed? (Indications)

Acitretin is a retinoid related to vitamin A prescribed for adults with severe psoriasis which involves red, scaly or thickened skin with abnormal growth of skin cells. 


When should Acitretin not be taken? (Contraindications)

Contraindicated in patients with liver, kidney impairment, during pregnancy (before the start, during and at least 2-3 yr after cessation of therapy), lactation, increased level of lipids in blood.

What is the dosage of Acitretin?

Adult: PO- The recommended dose is 25 to 50 mg per day, given as a single dose with the main meal.

How should Acitretin be taken?

It comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with the main meal.

What are the warnings and precautions for Acitretin?

• It may cause drowsiness or vision changes. Do not drive a car or operate machinery while taking this medication.

Acitretin is noted for the possibility of severe birth defects and should not be used by pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant within 3 years following the use of this medication.

Sexually active women of childbearing age who use Acitretin should also use at least 2 forms of birth control concurrently.

Avoid blood donation during therapy or at least 1-3 years after stopping therapy.

It may make your skin sensitive to light, so avoid sunlight.

Remove contact lenses while using this medication otherwise it will increase irritation.

Monitor liver function, plasma lipid and glucose levels (especially in diabetic patients) regularly.

What are the side effects of Acitretin?

Hypervitaminosis A syndrome (Excess intake of Vitamin A).
  Heart: Heart attack, clots in blood vessels and stroke.
  Central Nervous System: Headache, shakiness, sleeplessness, aggressive feelings and/or suicidal thoughts and depression.
  Gastrointestinal: Dry mouth, increased thirst, taste changes, nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the pancreas and lower stomach pain.
  Skin: Rash, sweating, itching, scaling, dryness, thinning, dry or chapped lips, damage of skin, abnormal skin odor, hair loss and nail damage.
  Genitourinary: Vulvo-vaginal infection due to fungal infection.
  Hypersensitivity: Allergic reaction includes: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness and trouble in breathing.
  Miscellaneous: Fever, chills, dark urine and peeling of skin.
  Potentially Fatal: Sunburn, jaundice and liver toxicity.

What are the other precautions for Acitretin?

Avoid alcohol consumption while taking this medication.
Do not double the dose to catch up missed dosage.

What are the storage conditions for Acitretin?

Store between 15 and 25C (59 and 77F) in an airtight container. Protect from light. Avoid exposure to high temperatures and humidity after the bottle is opened. Keep away from children.

Last Updated : Jul 2018

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