alitretinoin topical (generic name)

It is used on the skin to treat Kaposi's sarcoma lesions
(a li TRE ti noyn)
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What is this medicine?

ALITRETINOIN (a li TRE ti noyn) is a naturally occurring form of vitamin A. It is used on the skin to treat Kaposi's sarcoma lesions. This gel does not treat other forms of Kaposi's sarcoma or prevent new skin lesions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to alitretinoin, vitamin A, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Open the tube by puncturing the metal seal with the pointed portion of the cap. Do not use if the metal seal has been punctured or is not present when you first open the package.

This medicine is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Make sure the skin is clean and dry. Wait 20 minutes after a shower or bath before using. Apply a generous coating to the lesions. Do not rub the gel into the lesion. Allow the gel to dry for 3 to 5 minutes before covering with clothing. Try to avoid contact of the gel with unaffected skin around the lesions. This will decrease irritation and redness. Do not cover lesions treated with the gel with any bandage or material other than loose clothing. Wipe your finger(s) you have used to apply the gel with a tissue and wash your hands using soap and water. Wait at least 3 hours after any application before showering, bathing, or swimming. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

Apply as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, apply only that dose. Do not use extra doses, or use for a longer period of time than directed by your doctor or health care professional.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • insect repellents that contain DEET

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

It may take a few weeks before you see the full benefit. Kaposi's sarcoma lesions can affect other parts of your body including the lungs and intestines. You should continue to visit your doctor or health care professional on a regular basis to monitor your progress.

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Precautions should be taken to avoid becoming pregnant while using this medicine.

Avoid the use of other skincare products on the treated Kaposi's sarcoma lesions. Mineral oil may be used in between applications in order to prevent too much dryness or itching. Do not apply mineral oil for at least 2 hours before or after applying this gel. Try not to scratch treated areas.

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.

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Last Updated: March 11, 2009
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