The product labeling information includes all published material associated to a drug. Product labeling documents include information like generic names, active ingredients, ingredient strength dosage, routes of administration, appearance, usage, warnings, inactive ingredients, etc.
Acitretin, USP, a retinoid, is available in 10-mg, 17.5-mg, and 25-mg gelatin capsules for oral administration. Chemically, acitretin is all-trans-9-(4-methoxy-2,3,6-trimethylphenyl)-3,7-dimethyl-2,4,6,8-nonatetraenoic acid. It is a metabolite of etretinate and is related to both retinoic acid and retinol (vitamin A). It is a yellow to greenish-yellow powder with a molecular weight of 326.43. The structural formula is:C
3Each capsule contains acitretin, USP 10-mg, 17.5-mg, and 25-mg. Inactive ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, maltodextrin, povidone and sodium ascorbate. The 10-mg, 17.5-mg, and 25-mg gelatin capsule shells contain gelatin, iron oxide (yellow), titanium dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate and black imprinting ink. In addition, the 17.5-mg gelatin capsule shells also contain iron oxide (red).
The mechanism of action of acitretin is unknown.
Absorption:Oral absorption of acitretin is optimal when given with food. For this reason, acitretin was given with food in all of the following trials. After administration of a single 50-mg oral dose of acitretin to 18 healthy subjects, maximum plasma concentrations ranged from 196 to 728 ng per mL (mean: 416 ng per mL) and were achieved in 2 to 5 hours (mean: 2.7 hours). The oral absorption of acitretin is linear and proportional with increasing doses from 25 to 100 mg. Approximately 72% (range: 47% to 109%) of the administered dose was absorbed after a single 50-mg dose of acitretin was given to 12 healthy subjects.Distribution:Acitretin is more than 99.9% bound to plasma proteins, primarily albumin.Metabolism: (
See Pharmacokinetic Drug Interactions: Ethanol.
Following oral absorption, acitretin undergoes extensive metabolism and interconversion by simple isomerization to its 13-cis form (cis-acitretin). The formation of cis-acitretin relative to parent compound is not altered by dose or fed/fast conditions of oral administration of acitretin. Both parent compound and isomer are further metabolized into chain-shortened breakdown products and conjugates, which are excreted. Following multiple-dose administration of acitretin, steady-state concentrations of acitretin and cis-acitretin in plasma are achieved within approximately 3 weeks.Elimination:The chain-shortened metabolites and conjugates of acitretin and cis-acitretin are ultimately excreted in the feces (34% to 54%) and urine (16% to 53%). The terminal elimination half-life of acitretin following multiple-dose administration is 49 hours (range: 33 to 96 hours), and that of cis-acitretin under the same conditions is 63 hours (range: 28 to 157 hours). The accumulation ratio of the parent compound is 1.2; that of cis-acitretin is 6.6.
Psoriasis:In an 8-week trial of acitretin pharmacokinetics in subjects with psoriasis, mean steady-state trough concentrations of acitretin increased in a dose-proportional manner with dosages ranging from 10 to 50 mg daily. Acitretin plasma concentrations were nonmeasurable (<4 ng per mL) in all subjects 3 weeks after cessation of therapy.Elderly:In a multiple-dose trial in healthy young (n = 6) and elderly (n = 8) subjects, a 2-fold increase in acitretin plasma concentrations were seen in elderly subjects, although the elimination half-life did not change.Renal Failure:Plasma concentrations of acitretin were significantly (59.3%) lower in subjects with end-stage renal failure (n = 6) when compared with age-matched controls, following single 50-mg oral doses. Acitretin was not removed by hemodialysis in these subjects.
In 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, acitretin was administered once daily to subjects with severe psoriasis (e.g., covering at least 10% to 20% of the body surface area). At 8 weeks (see Table 1) subjects treated in Trial A with 50 mg of acitretin per day showed significant improvements (
P≤0.05) relative to baseline and to placebo in the physician’s global evaluation and in the mean ratings of severity of psoriasis (scaling, thickness, and erythema). In Trial B, differences from baseline and from placebo were statistically significant (
P≤0.05) for all variables at both the 25-mg and 50-mg doses; it should be noted for Trial B that no statistical adjustment for multiplicity was carried out.
Table 1. Summary of the Efficacy Results of the 8- Week Double- Blind Phase of Trials A and B of AcitretinEfficacy VariablesTrial ATrial BTotal Daily DoseTotal Daily DosePlacebo
Physician's Global EvaluationBaseline4.624.554.434.374.49Mean Change
After 8 weeks
Values were statistically significantly different from placebo and from baseline (P≤0.05). No adjustment for multiplicity was done for Trial B.-0.06-1.06
After 8 weeks
After 8 weeks
After 8 weeks
The efficacy variables consisted of: the mean severity rating of scale, lesion thickness, erythema, and the physician's global evaluation of the current status of the disease. Ratings of scaling, erythema, and lesion thickness, and the ratings of the global assessments were made using a 7-point scale (0 = none, 1 = trace, 2 = mild, 3 = mild-moderate, 4 = moderate, 5 = moderate-severe, 6 = severe).
A subset of 141 subjects from both pivotal Trials A and B continued to receive acitretin in an open fashion for up to 24 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, all efficacy variables, as indicated in Table 2, were significantly improved (
P≤0.01) from baseline, including extent of psoriasis, mean ratings of psoriasis severity, and physician’s global evaluation.
Table 2. Summary of the First Course of Therapy with Acitretin (24 Weeks)VariablesTrial ATrial BMean Total Daily Dose of Acitretin (mg)42.843.1Mean Duration of Therapy (Weeks)21.122.6Physician's Global EvaluationN=39N=98Baseline4.514.43Mean Change from Baseline-2.26
Indicates that the difference from baseline was statistically significant (
ScalingN=59N=132Baseline3.974.07Mean Change from Baseline-2.15
ThicknessN=59N=132Baseline4.004.12Mean Change from Baseline-2.44
ErythemaN=59N=132Baseline4.354.33Mean Change from Baseline-2.31
The efficacy variables consisted of: the mean severity rating of scale, lesion thickness, erythema, and the physician's global evaluation of the current status of the disease. Ratings of scaling, erythema, and lesion thickness, and the ratings of the global assessments were made using a 7-point scale (0 = none, 1 = trace, 2 = mild, 3 = mild-moderate, 4 = moderate, 5 = moderate-severe, 6 = severe).All efficacy variables improved significantly in a subset of 55 subjects from Trial A treated for a second, 6-month maintenance course of therapy (for a total of 12 months of treatment); a small subset of subjects (n = 4) from Trial A continued to improve after a third 6-month course of therapy (for a total of 18 months of treatment).
Indications And Usage
Acitretin Capsules, USP are indicated for the treatment of severe psoriasis in adults. Because of significant adverse effects associated with its use, Acitretin Capsules, USP should be prescribed only by those knowledgeable in the systemic use of retinoids. In females of reproductive potential, Acitretin Capsules, USP should be reserved for non-pregnant patients who are unresponsive to other therapies or whose clinical condition contraindicates the use of other treatments (see boxed
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS — Acitretin Capsules, USP can cause severe birth defects).
Most patients experience relapse of psoriasis after discontinuing therapy. Subsequent courses, when clinically indicated, have produced efficacy results similar to the initial course of therapy.
Pregnancy Category X(
See boxed CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS.)
Acitretin is contraindicated in patients with severely impaired liver or kidney function and in patients with chronic abnormally elevated blood lipid values (see boxed
WARNINGS: Lipids and Possible Cardiovascular Effects, and
An increased risk of hepatitis has been reported to result from combined use of methotrexate and etretinate. Consequently, the combination of methotrexate with acitretin is also contraindicated (see
PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions).
Since both acitretin and tetracyclines can cause increased intracranial pressure, their combined use is contraindicated (see
WARNINGS: Pseudotumor Cerebri).
Acitretin is contraindicated in cases of hypersensitivity (e.g., angioedema, urticaria) to the preparation (acitretin or excipients) or to other retinoids.
See also boxed CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS
Lipids And Possible Cardiovascular Effects:
Blood lipid determinations should be performed before acitretin is administered and again at intervals of 1 to 2 weeks until the lipid response to the drug is established, usually within 4 to 8 weeks. In subjects receiving acitretin during clinical trials, 66% and 33% experienced elevation in triglycerides and cholesterol, respectively. Decreased high density lipoproteins (HDL) occurred in 40% of subjects. These effects of acitretin were generally reversible upon cessation of therapy.Subjects with an increased tendency to develop hypertriglyceridemia included those with disturbances of lipid metabolism, diabetes mellitus, obesity, increased alcohol intake, or a familial history of these conditions. Because of the risk of hypertriglyceridemia, serum lipids must be more closely monitored in high-risk patients and during long-term treatment.Hypertriglyceridemia and lowered HDL may increase a patient’s cardiovascular risk status. Although no causal relationship has been established, there have been postmarketing reports of acute myocardial infarction or thromboembolic events in patients on therapy with acitretin. In addition, elevation of serum triglycerides to greater than 800 mg per dL has been associated with fatal fulminant pancreatitis. Therefore, dietary modifications, reduction in dose of acitretin, or drug therapy should be employed to control significant elevations of triglycerides. If, despite these measures, hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL levels persist, the discontinuation of acitretin should be considered.
The eyes and vision of 329 subjects treated with acitretin were examined by ophthalmologists. The findings included dry eyes (23%), irritation of eyes (9%), and brow and lash loss (5%). The following were reported in less than 5% of subjects: Bell’s palsy, blepharitis and/or crusting of lids, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, corneal epithelial abnormality, cortical cataract, decreased night vision, diplopia, itchy eyes or eyelids, nuclear cataract, pannus, papilledema, photophobia, posterior subcapsular cataract, recurrent sties, and subepithelial corneal lesions.Any patient treated with acitretin who is experiencing visual difficulties should discontinue the drug and undergo ophthalmologic evaluation.
Lipid elevations occur in 25% to 50% of subjects treated with acitretin. Triglyceride increases sufficient to be associated with pancreatitis are much less common, although fatal fulminant pancreatitis has been reported. There have been rare reports of pancreatitis during therapy with acitretin in the absence of hypertriglyceridemia.
Acitretin and other retinoids administered orally have been associated with cases of pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension). Some of these events involved concomitant use of isotretinoin and tetracyclines. However, the event seen in a single patient receiving acitretin was not associated with tetracycline use. Early signs and symptoms include papilledema, headache, nausea and vomiting, and visual disturbances. Patients with these signs and symptoms should be examined for papilledema and, if present, should discontinue acitretin immediately and be referred for neurological evaluation and care. Since both acitretin and tetracyclines can cause increased intracranial pressure, their combined use is contraindicated (see
Capillary Leak Syndrome:
Capillary leak syndrome, a potential manifestation of retinoic acid syndrome, has been reported in patients receiving acitretin. Features of this syndrome may include localized or generalized edema with secondary weight gain, fever, and hypotension. Rhabdomyolysis and myalgias have been reported in association with capillary leak syndrome, and laboratory tests may reveal neutrophilia, hypoalbuminemia, and an elevated hematocrit. Discontinue acitretin if capillary leak syndrome develops during therapy.
Exfoliative dermatitis/erythroderma has been reported in patients receiving acitretin. Discontinue acitretin if exfoliative dermatitis/erythroderma occurs during therapy.
- A description of the P.P.E.T. Program materials is provided below. The main goals of the materials are to explain the program requirements, to reinforce the educational messages, and to assess program effectiveness.The P.P.E.T. Program booklet includes:The P.P.E.T. Program Patient Brochure: information on the program requirements, risks of acitretin, and the types of contraceptive methodsThe Contraception Counseling Referral Form for female patients who want to receive free contraception counseling reimbursed by the manufacturerThe Patient Agreement/Informed Consent for Female Patients formMedication GuideThe P.P.E.T. program also includes a voluntary patient survey for women of childbearing potential to assess the effectiveness of the acitretin Pregnancy Prevention Program P.P.E.T. The P.P.E.T Program materials are available at
- Www.sigmapharm.com/PPET or may be requested by calling 1-855-273-0150.
- Information for Patients:
- Medication Guide for all patients and
- Patient Agreement/Informed Consent for Female Patients at end of professional labeling).
- Patients should be instructed to read the
- Medication Guide supplied as required by law when acitretin capsules are dispensed.
- Females of Reproductive Potential: Acitretin can cause severe birth defects. Female patients must not be pregnant when therapy with acitretin is initiated, they must not become pregnant while taking acitretin and for at least 3 years after stopping acitretin, so that the drug can be eliminated to below a blood concentration that would be associated with an increased incidence of birth defects. Because this threshold has not been established for acitretin in humans and because elimination rates vary among patients, the duration of posttherapy contraception to achieve adequate elimination cannot be calculated precisely (see boxed
- CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS).
- Females of reproductive potential should also be advised that they must not ingest beverages or products containing ethanol while taking acitretin and for 2 months after acitretin has been discontinued. This allows for elimination of the acitretin which can be converted to etretinate in the presence of alcohol.
- Female patients should be advised that any method of birth control can fail, including tubal ligation, and that microdosed progestin “minipill” preparations are
- Not recommended for use with acitretin (see
- CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY:Pharmacokinetic Drug Interactions). Data from one patient who received a very low-dosed progestin contraceptive (levonorgestrel 0.03 mg) had a significant increase of the progesterone level after 3 menstrual cycles during acitretin treatment.
- 2Female patients should sign a consent form prior to beginning therapy with acitretin (see boxed
- CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS).
- Female patients should be advised to contact their physician, women’s health centers, pharmacies, or hospital emergency rooms for information about how to obtain Emergency Contraception if sexual intercourse occurs without using 2 effective forms of contraception simultaneously. A 24-hour, toll-free number (1-855-273-0150) is also available for patients to receive automated birth control and emergency contraception information.
Studies on lactating rats have shown that etretinate is excreted in the milk. There is one prospective case report where acitretin is reported to be excreted in human milk. Therefore, nursing mothers should not receive acitretin prior to or during nursing because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants.
Depression and/or other psychiatric symptoms such as aggressive feelings or thoughts of self-harm have been reported. These events, including self-injurious behavior, have been reported in patients taking other systemically administered retinoids, as well as in patients taking acitretin. Since other factors may have contributed to these events, it is not known if they are related to acitretin. Patients should be counseled to stop taking acitretin and notify their prescriber immediately if they experience psychiatric symptoms.
Patients should be advised that a transient worsening of psoriasis is sometimes seen during the initial treatment period. Patients should be advised that they may have to wait 2 to 3 months before they get the full benefit of acitretin, although some patients may achieve significant improvements within the first 8 weeks of treatment as demonstrated in clinical trials.Decreased night vision has been reported with acitretin. Patients should be advised of this potential problem and warned to be cautious when driving or operating any vehicle at night. Visual problems should be carefully monitored (see
ADVERSE REACTIONS). Patients should be advised that they may experience decreased tolerance to contact lenses during the treatment period and sometimes after treatment has stopped.
Patients should not donate blood during and for at least 3 years following therapy because acitretin can cause birth defects and women of childbearing potential must not receive blood from patients being treated with acitretin.Because of the relationship of acitretin to vitamin A, patients should be advised against taking vitamin A supplements in excess of minimum recommended daily allowances to avoid possible additive toxic effects.Patients should avoid the use of sun lamps and excessive exposure to sunlight (non-medical UV exposure) because the effects of UV light are enhanced by retinoids.Patients should be advised that they must not give their acitretin capsules to any other person.
Acitretin has not been studied in and is not indicated for treatment of acne.
Significantly lower doses of phototherapy are required when acitretin is used because effects on the stratum corneum induced by acitretin can increase the risk of erythema (burning)
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ).
Ethanol:Clinical evidence has shown that etretinate can be formed with concurrent ingestion of acitretin and ethanol (see boxed
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS and
CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics).
Glyburide:In a trial of 7 healthy male volunteers, acitretin treatment potentiated the blood glucose-lowering effect of glyburide (a sulfonylurea similar to chlorpropamide) in 3 of the 7 subjects. Repeating the trial with 6 healthy male volunteers in the absence of glyburide did not detect an effect of acitretin on glucose tolerance. Careful supervision of diabetic patients under treatment with acitretin is recommended (see
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Hormonal Contraceptives:It has not been established if there is a pharmacokinetic interaction between acitretin and combined oral contraceptives. However, it has been established that acitretin interferes with the contraceptive effect of microdosed progestin “minipill” preparations. Microdosed “minipill” progestin preparations are not recommended for use with acitretin (see
Pharmacokinetic Drug Interactions).
It is not known whether other progestin-only contraceptives, such as implants and injectables, are adequate methods of contraception during acitretin therapy.
Methotrexate:An increased risk of hepatitis has been reported to result from combined use of methotrexate and etretinate. Consequently, the combination of methotrexate with acitretin is also contraindicated (see
Phenytoin:If acitretin is given concurrently with phenytoin, the protein binding of phenytoin may be reduced.Tetracyclines:Since both acitretin and tetracyclines can cause increased intracranial pressure, their combined use is contraindicated (see
CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS: Pseudotumor Cerebri:).
Vitamin A and Oral Retinoids:Concomitant administration of vitamin A and/or other oral retinoids with acitretin must be avoided because of the risk of hypervitaminosis A.Other:There appears to be no pharmacokinetic interaction between acitretin and cimetidine, digoxin, or glyburide. Investigations into the effect of acitretin on the protein binding of anticoagulants of the coumarin type (warfarin) revealed no interaction.
If significant abnormal laboratory results are obtained, either dosage reduction with careful monitoring or treatment discontinuation is recommended, depending on clinical judgment.Blood Sugar:
Some patients receiving retinoids have experienced problems with blood sugar control. In addition, new cases of diabetes have been diagnosed during retinoid therapy, including diabetic ketoacidosis. In diabetics, blood-sugar levels should be monitored very carefully.Lipids:
In clinical trials, the incidence of hypertriglyceridemia was 66%, hypercholesterolemia was 33%, and that of decreased HDL was 40%. Pretreatment and follow-up measurements should be obtained under fasting conditions. It is recommended that these tests be performed weekly or every other week until the lipid response to acitretin has stabilized (see
Liver Function Tests:
Elevations of AST (SGOT), ALT (SGPT), or LDH were experienced by approximately 1 in 3 patients treated with acitretin. It is recommended that these tests be performed prior to initiation of therapy with acitretin, at 1- to 2-week intervals until stable, and thereafter at intervals as clinically indicated (see
CONTRAINDICATIONS and boxed WARNINGS).
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility:
Carcinogenesis:A carcinogenesis study of acitretin in Wistar rats, at doses up to 2 mg per kg per day administered 7 days per week for 104 weeks, has been completed. There were no neoplastic lesions observed that were considered to have been related to treatment with acitretin. An 80-week carcinogenesis study in mice has been completed with etretinate, the ethyl ester of acitretin. Blood level data obtained during this study demonstrated that etretinate was metabolized to acitretin and that blood levels of acitretin exceeded those of etretinate at all times studied. In the etretinate study, an increased incidence of blood vessel tumors (hemangiomas and hemangiosarcomas at several different sites) was noted in male, but not female, mice at doses approximately one-half the maximum recommended human therapeutic dose based on a mg-per-m
Mutagenesis:Acitretin was evaluated for mutagenic potential in the Ames test, in the Chinese hamster (V79/HGPRT) assay, in unscheduled DNA synthesis assays using rat hepatocytes and human fibroblasts, and in an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay. No evidence of mutagenicity of acitretin was demonstrated in any of these assays.Impairment of Fertility:In a fertility study in rats, the fertility of treated animals was not impaired at the highest dosage of acitretin tested, 3 mg per kg per day (approximately one-half the maximum recommended therapeutic dose based on a mg-per-m
2 comparison). Chronic toxicity studies in dogs revealed testicular changes (reversible mild to moderate spermatogenic arrest and appearance of multinucleated giant cells) in the highest dosage group (50 then 30 mg per kg per day).
No decreases in sperm count or concentration and no changes in sperm motility or morphology were noted in 31 men (17 psoriatic subjects, 8 subjects with disorders of keratinization, and 6 healthy volunteers) given 30 to 50 mg per day of acitretin for at least 12 weeks. In these trials, no deleterious effects were seen on either testosterone production, LH, or FSH in any of the 31 men.
4-6 No deleterious effects were seen on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in any of the 18 men where it was measured.
Teratogenic Effects:Pregnancy Category X: (
see boxed CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS).
In a study in which acitretin was administered to male rats only at a dosage of 5 mg per kg per day for 10 weeks (approximate duration of one spermatogenic cycle) prior to and during mating with untreated female rats, no teratogenic effects were observed in the progeny (see boxed
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS for information about male use of acitretin).
Nonteratogenic Effects:In rats dosed at 3 mg per kg per day (approximately one-half the maximum recommended therapeutic dose based on a mg-per-m
2 comparison), slightly decreased pup survival and delayed incisor eruption were noted. At the next lowest dose tested, 1 mg per kg per day, no treatment-related adverse effects were observed.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. No clinical trials have been conducted in pediatric subjects. Ossification of interosseous ligaments and tendons of the extremities, skeletal hyperostoses, decreases in bone mineral density, and premature epiphyseal closure have been reported in children taking other systemic retinoids, including etretinate, a metabolite of acitretin. A causal relationship between these effects and acitretin has not been established. While it is not known that these occurrences are more severe or more frequent in children, there is special concern in pediatric patients because of the implications for growth potential (see
WARNINGS: Skeletal Abnormalities).
Clinical trials of acitretin did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. A 2-fold increase in acitretin plasma concentrations was seen in healthy elderly subjects compared with young subjects, although the elimination half-life did not change (see
CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Special Populations).
Hypervitaminosis A produces a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms primarily of the mucocutaneous, musculoskeletal, hepatic, neuropsychiatric, and central nervous systems. Many of the clinical adverse reactions reported to date with administration of acitretin resemble those of the hypervitaminosis A syndrome.
Adverse Events/Postmarketing Reports:
addition to the events listed in the tables for the clinical trials, the following adverse events have been identified during postapproval use of acitretin. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Cardiovascular:Acute myocardial infarction, thromboembolism (see
Immune System Disorders:Hypersensitivity, including angioedema and urticaria (see
Nervous System:Myopathy with peripheral neuropathy has been reported during therapy with acitretin. Both conditions improved with discontinuation of the drug.Psychiatric:Aggressive feelings and/or suicidal thoughts have been reported. These events, including self-injurious behavior, have been reported in patients taking other systemically administered retinoids, as well as in patients taking acitretin. Since other factors may have contributed to these events, it is not known if they are related to acitretin (see
Reproductive:Vulvo-vaginitis due to
Candida albicansSkin and Appendages:Thinning of the skin, skin fragility and scaling may occur all over the body, particularly on the palms and soles; nail fragility is frequently observed. Madarosis and exfoliative dermatitis/erythroderma have been reported (see
Vascular Disorders:Capillary leak syndrome (see
During clinical trials with acitretin, 513 of 525 (98%) subjects reported a total of 3,545 adverse events. One-hundred sixteen subjects (22%) left trials prematurely, primarily because of adverse experiences involving the mucous membranes and skin. Three subjects died. Two of the deaths were not drug-related (pancreatic adenocarcinoma and lung cancer); the other subject died of an acute myocardial infarction, considered remotely related to drug therapy.
In clinical trials, acitretin was associated with elevations in liver function test results or triglyceride levels and hepatitis.The tables below list by body system and frequency the adverse events reported during clinical trials of 525 subjects with psoriasis.Table 3. Adverse Events Frequently Reported during Clinical Trials Percent of Subjects Reporting (N=525)Body System>75%50% to 75%25% to 50%10% to 25%CNSRigorsEye DisordersXerophthalmiaMucous MembranesCheilitisRhinitisDry mouth
(progression of existing lesions)
Skin and AppendagesAlopecia
Table 4. Adverse Events Less Frequently Reported during Clinical Trials (Some of Which May Bear No Relationship to Therapy) Percent of Subjects Reporting (N=525)Body Sytem1% to 10%≤ 1%Body as a WholeAnorexia
CNS (also see Psychiatric)HeadachePainAbnormal gaitMigraineNeuritis Pseudotumorcerebri(intracranialhypertension)Eye DisordersAbnormal/
Itchy eyes and lids
Liver and BiliaryHepatic function abnormal
Mucous MembranesGingival bleeding
Skin and AppendagesAbnormal skin
Special Senses/ OtherEarache
Therapy with acitretin induces changes in liver function tests in a significant number of patients. Elevations of AST (SGOT), ALT (SGPT) or LDH were experienced by approximately 1 in 3 subjects treated with acitretin. In most subjects, elevations were slight to moderate and returned to normal either during continuation of therapy or after cessation of treatment. In subjects receiving acitretin during clinical trials, 66% and 33% experienced elevation in triglycerides and cholesterol, respectively. Decreased high density lipoproteins (HDL) occurred in 40% (see
WARNINGS). Transient, usually reversible elevations of alkaline phosphatase have been observed.
Table 5 lists the laboratory abnormalities reported during clinical trials.Table 5. Abnormal Laboratory Test Results Reported during Clinical Trials Percent of Subjects ReportingBody System50% to 75%25% to 50%10% to 25%1% to 10%ElectrolytesIncreased:
Increased and decreased:-MagnesiumDecreased:
Increased and decreased:
Increased or decreased:
Increased and decreased:
–Fasting blood sugar
–Fasting blood sugar
UrinaryWBC in urineAcetonuria
RBC in urine
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS contact AvKARE, Inc. at 1-855-361-3993; email
email@example.com; or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or
- In the event of acute overdosage, acitretin must be withdrawn at once. Symptoms of overdose are identical to acute hypervitaminosis A (e.g., headache and vertigo). The acute oral toxicity (LD
- 50) of acitretin in both mice and rats was greater than 4,000 mg per kg.
- In one reported case of overdose, a 32-year-old male with Darier’s disease took 21 x 25-mg capsules (525-mg single dose). He vomited several hours later but experienced no other ill effects.All female patients of childbearing potential who have taken an overdose of acitretin must:
- Have a pregnancy test at the time of overdose; Be counseled as per the boxed
- CONTRAINDICATIONS AND WARNINGS and
- PRECAUTIONS sections regarding birth defects and contraceptive use for at least 3 years’ duration after the overdose.
Dosage And Administration
There is intersubject variation in the pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, and incidence of side effects with Acitretin Capsules, USP. A number of the more common side effects are dose-related. Individualization of dosage is required to achieve sufficient therapeutic response while minimizing side effects. Therapy with Acitretin Capsules, USP should be initiated at 25 to 50 mg per day, given as a single dose with the main meal. Maintenance doses of 25 to 50 mg per day may be given dependent upon an individual patient’s response to initial treatment. Relapses may be treated as outlined for initial therapy.When Acitretin Capsules, USP are used with phototherapy, the prescriber should decrease the phototherapy dose, dependent on the patient’s individual response (see
Females who have taken TEGISON (etretinate) must continue to follow the contraceptive recommendations for TEGISON. TEGISON is no longer marketed in the US; for information, call 1-855-273-0150.Information for Pharmacists: Acitretin Capsules, USP must only be dispensed in no more than a month supply. An Acitretin Capsules, USP Medication Guide must be given to the patient each time acitretin capsules are dispensed, as required by law.
Acitretin Capsules, USP 10 mg (opaque yellow and opaque white) are imprinted “Σ 80” on body and cap; Bottles of 30 (NDC 42291-086-30).
Acitretin Capsules, USP 17.5 mg (opaque orange) are imprinted “Σ 81” on body and cap; Bottles of 30 (NDC 42291-087-30).
Acitretin Capsules, USP 25 mg (opaque yellow) are imprinted “Σ 83” on body and cap; Bottles of 30 (NDC 42291-088-30).
Store at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). See USP Controlled Room Temperature.Protect from light. Avoid exposure to high temperatures and humidity after the bottle is opened.KEEP THIS AND ALL MEDICATIONS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.All brand names listed are the registered trade names of their respective owners and are not trademarks of AvKARE, Inc.
- Berbis Ph, et al.:
- Arch Dermatol Res (1988) 280:388-389.
- Maier H, Honigsmann H: Concentration of etretinate in plasma and subcutaneous fat after long-term acitretin.
- Lancet 348:1107, 1996.
- Geiger JM, Walker M: Is there a reproductive safety risk in male patients treated with acitretin (NeoNeotigason/Soriatane)?
- Dermatology 205:105-107, 2002.
- Sigg C, et al.: Andrological investigations in patients treated with etretin.
- Dermatologica 175:48-49, 1987.
- Parsch EM, et al.: Andrological investigation in men treated with acitretin (Ro 10-1670).
- Andrologia 22:479-482, 1990.
- Kadar L, et al.: Spermatological investigations in psoriatic patients treated with acitretin. In: Pharmacology of Retinoids in the Skin; Reichert U. et al., ed, KARGER, Basel, vol. 3, pp 253-254, 1988.Manufactured by:
- Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC
- Bensalem, PA 19020
- Manufactured for:
- AvKARE, Inc.
- Pulaski, TN 38478
- OS083A-01 REV.1217
- Revised 12/2017
Patient Agreement/Informed Consent For Female Patients
To be completed by the patient* and signed by her prescriber*Must also be initialed by the parent or guardian of a minor patient
(under age 18)
Read each item below and initial in the space provided to show that you
understand each item.
Do not sign this consent and do not take acitretinif there is anything that you do not understand._____________________________________________________________
1. I understand that there is a very high risk that my unborn baby could have severe birth defects if I am pregnant or become pregnant while taking acitretin capsules in any amount even for short periods of time. Birth defects have also happened in babies of women who became pregnant after stopping treatment with acitretin capsules.
2. I understand that I must not become pregnant while taking acitretin capsules and for at least 3 years after the end of my treatment with acitretin capsules.
3. I know that I must avoid all alcohol, including drinks, food, medicines, and over-the-counter products that contain alcohol. I understand that the risk of birth defects may last longer than 3 years if I swallow any form of alcohol during therapy with acitretin capsules, and for 2 months after I stop taking acitretin capsules.
4. I understand that I must not have sexual intercourse, or I must use 2 separate, effective forms of birth control
at the same time. The only exceptions are if I have had surgery to remove the womb (a hysterectomy) or my prescriber has told me I have gone completely through menopause.
5. I understand that I have to use 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) at the same time for at least 1 month before starting acitretin capsules, for the entire time of therapy with acitretin capsules, and for at least 3 years after stopping acitretin capsules.
6. I understand that any form of birth control can fail. Therefore, I must use 2 different methods at the same time, every time I have sexual intercourse.
7. I understand that the following are considered effective forms of birth control: Primary: Tubal ligation (having my tubes tied), partner’s vasectomy, birth control pills (not progestin-only "minipills"), injectable/implantable/insertable/topical (patch) hormonal birth control products, and IUDs (intrauterine devices). Secondary: Condoms (with or without spermicide, which is a special cream or jelly that kills sperm), diaphragms and cervical caps (which must be used with a spermicide), and vaginal sponges (contains spermicide). I understand that at least 1 of my 2 methods of birth control must be a primary method.
8. I will talk with my prescriber about any medicines or dietary supplements I plan to take while taking acitretin capsules because certain birth control methods may not work if I am taking certain medicines or herbal products (for example, St. John’s wort).
9. Unless I have had a hysterectomy or my prescriber says I have gone completely through menopause, I understand that I must have 2 negative pregnancy test results before I can get a prescription to start acitretin capsules. I understand that if the second pregnancy test is negative, I must start taking my acitretin capsules within 7 days of the specimen collection. I will then have pregnancy tests on a monthly basis during therapy with acitretin as instructed by my prescriber. In addition, for at least 3 years after I stop taking acitretin, I will have a pregnancy test every 3 months.
10. I understand that I should not start taking acitretin capsules until I am
sure that I am not pregnant and have negative results from 2 pregnancy tests.
11. I have received information on emergency contraception (birth control).
12. I understand that my prescriber can give me a referral for a free contraception (birth control) counseling session and pregnancy testing.
13. I understand that on a monthly basis during therapy with acitretin capsules and every 3 months for at least 3 years after stopping acitretin capsules that I should receive counseling from my prescriber about contraception (birth control) and behaviors associated with an increased risk of pregnancy.
14. I understand that I must stop taking acitretin capsules right away and call my prescriber if I get pregnant, miss my menstrual period, stop using birth control, or have sexual intercourse without using my 2 birth control methods during and at least 3 years after stopping acitretin capsules.
15. If I do become pregnant while on acitretin capsules or at any time within 3 years of stopping acitretin capsules, I understand that I should report my pregnancy to Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC, Pharmacovigilance at 1-855-332-0731 or to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch program at 1-800-FDA-1088. The information I share will be kept confidential (private) unless disclosure is legally required. This will help the company and the FDA evaluate the pregnancy prevention program to prevent birth defects.
I have received a copy of the P.P.E.T. brochure. My prescriber has answered all my questions about acitretin capsules. I understand that it is my responsibility to follow my doctor’s instructions, and not to get pregnant during treatment with acitretin capsules or for at least 3 years after I stop taking acitretin capsules.I now authorize my prescriber, _________________________________, to begin my treatment with acitretin capsules.Patient signature: ____________________ Date: ____________Parent/guardian signature (if under age 18): _______________ Date: ____________Please print: Patient name and address:
__________________________________________ Telephone: _______________________I have fully explained to the patient, _________________________________________________, the nature and purpose of the treatment described above and the risks to females of childbearing potential. I have asked the patient if she has any questions regarding her treatment with acitretin capsules and have answered those questions to the best of my ability.Prescriber signature: _______________________Date: __________________Manufactured by:
Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC
Bensalem, PA 19020
Pulaski, TN 38478
- ACITRETIN CAPSULES, USP[ A-si-TRE-tin]
- Read this Medication Guide carefully before you start taking acitretin capsules and read it each time you get more acitretin capsules. There may be new information.The first information in this Medication Guide is about birth defects and how to avoid pregnancy.
- After this section there is important safety information about possible effects for any patient taking acitretin capsules. All patients should read this entire Medication Guide carefully. This information does not take the place of talking with your prescriber about your medical condition or treatment.
- What is the most important information I should know about acitretin capsules?Acitretin capsules can cause serious side effects, including:
- • Severe birth defects. If you are a female who can get pregnant, you should use acitretin capsules only if you are not pregnant now, can avoid becoming pregnant for at least 3 years, and other medicines do not work for your severe psoriasis or you cannot use other psoriasis medicines. Information about effects on unborn babies and about how to avoid pregnancy is found in the next section:
- “What are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?” • Liver problems, including abnormal liver function tests and inflammation of your liver (hepatitis). Your prescriber should do blood tests to check how your liver is working before you start taking and during treatment with acitretin capsules. Stop taking acitretin capsules and call your prescriber right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms of a serious liver problem:
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyesnausea and vomitingloss of appetitedark urineWhat are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?
- Before you receive your first prescription for acitretin capsules, you should have discussed and signed a Patient Agreement/Informed Consent for Female Patients form with your prescriber. This is to help make sure you understand the risk of birth defects and how to avoid getting pregnant. If you did not talk to your prescriber about this and sign the form, contact your prescriber.Important: If you are a female who can become pregnant:You must not take acitretin capsules if you are pregnant or might become pregnant during treatment or at any time for at least 3 years after you stop treatment because acitretin capsules can cause severe birth defects.During treatment with acitretin capsules and for 2 months after you stop treatment with acitretin capsules, you must avoid drinks, foods, and all medicines that contain alcohol. This includes over-the-counter products that contain alcohol. Avoiding alcohol is very important, because alcohol changes acitretin capsules into a drug that may take longer than 3 years to leave your body. The chance of birth defects may last longer than 3 years if you swallow any form of alcohol during treatment with acitretin capsules and for 2 months after you stop taking acitretin capsules.
- You and your prescriber must be sure you are not pregnant before you start therapy with acitretin capsules. You must have negative results from 2 pregnancy tests before you start treatment with acitretin capsules.A negative result shows you are not pregnant. Because it takes a few days after pregnancy begins for a test to show that you are pregnant, the first negative test may not ensure you are not pregnant. Do not start acitretin capsules until you have negative results from 2 pregnancy tests.
- First pregnancy test (urine or blood) will be done at the time you and your prescriber decide if acitretin capsules might be right for you.
- Second pregnancy test will usually be done during the first 5 days of your menstrual period. You must start taking acitretin capsules within 7 days of when the urine or blood for the second pregnancy test is collected.
- After you start taking acitretin capsules, you must have a pregnancy test repeated each month that you are taking acitretin capsules. This is to be sure that you are not pregnant during treatment because acitretin capsules can cause birth defects. In addition, your prescription of acitretin capsules will be limited to a monthly supply.For at least 3 years after stopping treatment with acitretin capsules, you must have a pregnancy test repeated every 3 months to make sure that you are not pregnant.Discuss effective birth control (contraception) with your prescriber. You must use 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) at the same time during all of the following:for at least 1 month before beginning treatment with acitretin capsulesduring treatment with acitretin capsulesfor at least 3 years after stopping treatment with acitretin capsulesIf you are sexually active, you must use 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) at the same time even if you think you cannot become pregnant, unless 1 of the following is true for you:You had your womb (uterus) removed during an operation (a hysterectomy)Your prescriber said you have gone completely through menopause (the “change of life”)You can get a free birth control counseling session and pregnancy testing from a prescriber or family planning expert. Your prescriber can give you a Contraception Counseling Referral Form for this free session.The following are considered effective forms of birth control:Primary Forms:having your tubes tied (tubal ligation)partner’s vasectomyIUD (Intrauterine device)birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestin (combination oral contraceptives); not progestin-only "minipills"hormonal birth control products that are injected, implanted, or inserted in your bodybirth control patchSecondary Forms (use with a Primary Form):diaphragms with spermicidecondoms (with or without spermicide)cervical caps with spermicidevaginal sponge (contains spermicide)At least 1 of your 2 methods of birth control must be a primary form.If you have sex at any time without using 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) at the same time, or if you get pregnant or miss your period, stop using acitretin capsules and call your prescriber right away.Consider “Emergency Contraception” (EC) if you have sex with a male without correctly using 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) at the same time. EC is also called “emergency birth control” which includes the “morning after” pill. Contact your prescriber
- As soon as possible if you have sex without using 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) at the same time, because EC works best if it is used within 1 or 2 days after sex. EC is not a replacement for your usual 2 effective forms of birth control (contraception) because it is not as effective as regular birth control methods.
- Contact your prescriber, women’s health centers, pharmacies, or hospital emergency rooms for information on how to get emergency contraception. A 24-hour, toll-free number (1-855-273-0150) is also available for patients to receive automated birth control and emergency contraception information.
- Stop taking acitretin capsules right away and contact your prescriber if you get pregnant while taking acitretin capsules or at any time for at least 3 years after treatment has stopped. You need to discuss the possible effects on the unborn baby with your prescriber.If you do become pregnant while taking acitretin capsules or at any time for at least 3 years after stopping acitretin capsules, you should report your pregnancy to AvKARE Inc. at 1-855-361-3993 or directly to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch program at 1-800-FDA-1088. Your name will be kept in private (confidential). The information you share will help the FDA and the manufacturer evaluate the Pregnancy Prevention Program for acitretin capsules.
- Do not take acitretin capsules if you are breastfeeding. Acitretin can pass into your milk and may harm your baby. You will need to choose either to breast feed or take acitretin capsules, but not both.
- What should males know before taking acitretin capsules?Small amounts of acitretin are found in the semen of males taking acitretin capsules. Based upon available information, it appears that these small amounts of acitretin in semen pose little, if any, risk to an unborn child while a male patient is taking the drug or after it is discontinued. Discuss any concerns you have about this with your prescriber.
- All patients should read the rest of this Medication Guide.What are acitretin capsules?Acitretin capsules are a medicine used to treat severe forms of psoriasis in adults. Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes cells in the outer layer of the skin to grow faster than normal and pile up on the skin’s surface. In the most common type of psoriasis, the skin becomes inflamed and produces red, thickened areas, often with silvery scales.
- Because acitretin capsules can have serious side effects, you should talk with your prescriber about whether possible benefits of acitretin capsules outweigh its possible risks.
- Acitretin capsules may not work right away. You may have to wait 2 to 3 months before you get the full benefit of acitretin capsules. Psoriasis gets worse for some patients when they first start treatment with acitretin capsules.Acitretin capsules have not been studied in children.Who should not take acitretin capsules?Do NOT take acitretin capsules if you can get pregnant. Do not take acitretin capsules if you are pregnant or might get pregnant during treatment with acitretin capsules or at any time for
- At least 3 years after you stop treatment with acitretin capsules (see
- “What are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?”).
- Do NOT take acitretin capsules if you are breastfeeding. Acitretin can pass into your milk and may harm your baby. You will need to choose either to breast feed or take acitretin capsules, but not both.
- Do NOT take acitretin capsules if you have severe liver or kidney disease.Do NOT take acitretin capsules if you have repeated high blood lipids (fat in the blood).
- Do NOT take acitretin capsules if you take these medicines:methotrexatetetracyclinesThe use of these medicines with acitretin capsules may cause serious side effects.Do NOT take acitretin capsules if you are allergic to acitretin, the active ingredient in acitretin capsules, to any of the other ingredients in acitretin capsules (see the end of this Medication Guide for a list of all the ingredients in acitretin capsules), or to any medicines that are like acitretin capsules. Ask your prescriber or pharmacist if any medicines you are allergic to are like acitretin capsules.
- Before taking acitretin capsules, tell your prescriber about all your medical conditions, including if you have or have had:diabetes or high blood sugarliver problemskidney problemshigh cholesterol or high triglycerides (fat in the blood)heart diseasedepressionalcoholisman allergic reaction to a medicationYour prescriber needs this information to decide if acitretin capsules are right for you and to know what dose is best for you.Tell your prescriber about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Some medicines can cause serious side effects if taken while you also take acitretin capsules. Some medicines may affect how acitretin capsules work, or acitretin capsules may affect how other medicines work.
- Be especially sure to tell your prescriber if you are taking the following medicines:
- Methotrexatetetracyclinesglyburidephenytoinvitamin A supplementsprogestin-only oral contraceptives (“minipills”)TEGISON or TIGASON (etretinate). Tell your prescriber if you have ever taken this medicine in the past.St. John’s wort herbal supplementTell your prescriber if you are getting phototherapy treatment. Your doses of phototherapy may need to be changed to prevent a burn.
- How should I take acitretin capsules?Take acitretin capsules with food.Be sure to take your medicine as prescribed by your prescriber. The dose of acitretin capsules varies from patient to patient. The number of capsules you must take is chosen specially for you by your prescriber. This dose may change during treatment.If you miss a dose, do not double the next dose. Skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule.If you take too much acitretin capsules (overdose), call your local poison control center or emergency room.You should have blood tests for liver function, cholesterol, and triglycerides before starting treatment and during treatment to check your body’s response to acitretin capsules. Your prescriber may also do other tests.Once you stop taking acitretin capsules, your psoriasis may return. Do not treat this new psoriasis with leftover acitretin capsules. It is important to see your prescriber again for treatment recommendations because your situation may have changed.What should I avoid while taking acitretin capsules?Avoid pregnancy. See “What is the most important information I should know about acitretin capsules?”, and “What are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?”
- Avoid breastfeeding. See “What are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?”
- Avoid alcohol. Females who are able to become pregnant must avoid drinks, foods, medicines, and over-the-counter products that contain alcohol. The risk of birth defects may continue for longer than 3 years if you swallow any form of alcohol during treatment with acitretin capsules and for 2 months after stopping acitretin capsules (see “What are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?”).
- Avoid giving blood. Do not donate blood while you are taking acitretin capsules and
- For at least 3 years after stopping treatment with acitretin capsules. Acitretin in your blood can harm an unborn baby if your blood is given to a pregnant woman. Acitretin capsules do not affect your ability to receive a blood transfusion.
- Avoid progestin-only birth control pills (“minipills”). This type of birth control pill may not work while you take acitretin capsules. Ask your prescriber if you are not sure what type of pills you are using.
- Avoid night driving if you develop any sudden vision problems. Stop taking acitretin capsules and call your prescriber if this occurs (see "What are the possible side effects of acitretin capsules?").
- Avoid non-medical ultraviolet (UV) light. Acitretin capsules can make your skin more sensitive to UV light. Do not use sunlamps, and avoid sunlight as much as possible. If you are taking light treatment (phototherapy), your prescriber may need to change your light dosages to avoid burns.
- Avoid dietary supplements containing vitamin A. Acitretin is related to vitamin A. Therefore, do not take supplements containing vitamin A, because they may add to the unwanted effects of acitretin capsules. Check with your prescriber or pharmacist if you have any questions about vitamin supplements.
- Do not shareacitretin capsules with anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms. Your medicine may harm them or their unborn child.
- What are the possible side effects of acitretin capsules?Acitretin capsules can cause serious side effects, including:
- • See “What is the most important information I should know about acitretin capsules?”
- “What are the important warnings and instructions for females taking acitretin capsules?”Stop taking acitretin capsules and call your prescriber right away if you get the following signs or symptoms of possible serious side effects:Bad headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision. These symptoms can be signs of increased brain pressure that can lead to blindness or even death.
- Vision problems. Decreased vision in the dark (night blindness). Since this can start suddenly, you should be very careful when driving at night. This problem usually goes away when treatment with acitretin capsules stops. Stop taking acitretin capsules and call your prescriber if you develop any vision problems or eye pain.
- Depression. There have been some reports of patients developing mental problems including a depressed mood, aggressive feelings, or thoughts of ending their own life (suicide). These events, including suicidal behavior, have been reported in patients taking other drugs similar to acitretin capsules as well as patients taking acitretin capsules. Since other things may have contributed to these problems, it is not known if they are related to acitretin capsules.
- Aches or pains in your bones, joints, muscles, or back, trouble moving, or loss of feeling in your hands or feet. These can be signs of abnormal changes to your bones or muscles.
- Frequent urination, great thirst or hunger. Acitretin capsules can affect blood sugar control, even if you do not already have diabetes. These are some of the signs of high blood sugar.
- Shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, weakness, trouble speaking, or swelling of a leg. These may be signs of a heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. Acitretin capsules can cause serious changes in blood fats (lipids). It is possible for these changes to cause blood vessel blockages that lead to heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots.
- Blood vessel problems. Acitretin capsules can cause fluid to leak out of your blood vessels into your body tissues.
- Call your prescriber right away if you have any of the following symptoms: sudden swelling in one part of your body or all over your body, weight gain, fever, lightheadedness or feeling faint, or muscle aches. If this happens, your prescriber will tell you to stop taking acitretin capsules.
- Serious allergic reactions. See “Who should not take acitretin capsules?” Serious allergic reactions can happen during treatment with acitretin capsules.
- Call your prescriber right away if you get any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: hives, itching, swelling of your face, mouth, or tongue, or problems breathing.
- If this happens, stop taking acitretin capsules and do not take it again.Serious skin problems. Acitretin can cause skin problems that can begin in a small area and then spread over large areas of your body.
- Call your prescriber right away if your skin becomes red and swollen (inflamed), you have peeling of your skin, or your skin becomes itchy and painful. You should stop acitretin capsules if this happens.
- Common side effectsIf you develop any of these side effects or any unusual reaction, check with your prescriber to find out if you need to change the amount of acitretin capsules you take. These side effects usually get better if the dose of acitretin capsules is reduced or acitretin capsules are stopped.Chapped lips, peeling fingertips, palms, and soles, itching, scaly skin all over, weak nails, sticky or fragile (weak) skin, runny or dry nose, or nosebleeds. Your prescriber or pharmacist can recommend a lotion or cream to help treat drying or chapping.
- Dry mouthJoint painTight musclesHair loss. Most patients have some hair loss, but this condition varies among patients. No one can tell if you will lose hair, how much hair you may lose or if and when it may grow back. You may also lose your eyelashes.
- Dry eyes. Acitretin capsules may dry your eyes. Wearing
- Contact lenses may be uncomfortable during and after treatment with acitretin capsules because of the dry feeling in your eyes. If this happens, remove your contact lenses and call your prescriber. Also read the section about vision problems under “Serious side effects”.
- Rise in blood fats (lipids). Acitretin capsules can cause your blood fats (lipids) to rise. Most of the time this is not serious. But sometimes the increase can become a serious problem (see information under “Serious side effects”). You should have blood tests as directed by your prescriber.
- Psoriasis gets worse for some patients when they first start treatment with acitretin capsules.
- Some patients have more redness or itching. If this happens, tell your prescriber. These symptoms usually get better as treatment continues, but your prescriber may need to change the amount of your medicine.
- These are not all the possible side effects of acitretin capsules. For more information, ask your prescriber or pharmacist.Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.How should I store acitretin capsules?Store acitretin capsules at 68° to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). See USP Controlled Room Temperature. Keep acitretin capsules away from sunlight, high temperature, and humidityKeep acitretin capsules and all medicines out of the reach of children.General information about the safe and effective use of acitretin capsulesMedicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use acitretin capsules for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give acitretin capsules to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or prescriber for information about acitretin capsules that is written for health professionals.
- For more information about acitretin capsules call 1-855-361-3993 or email
- This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- What are the ingredients in acitretin capsules?
- Active ingredient: acitretin, USP
- Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulfate, maltodextrin, povidone and sodium ascorbate. The 10-mg, 17.5-mg, and 25-mg gelatin capsule shells contain gelatin, iron oxide (yellow), titanium dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate and black imprinting ink. In addition, the 17.5-mg gelatin capsule shells also contain iron oxide (red).
- All brand names listed are the registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of AvKARE, Inc.Manufactured by:
- Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC
- Bensalem, PA 19020
- Manufactured for:
- AvKARE, Inc.
- Pulaski, TN 38478
- OS083A-01 REV.1217
- Revised 12/2017
* Please review the disclaimer below.