Details of Acitretin Salt (Generic Drug)



Acitretin is a retinoid, which is a form of vitamin A. Acitretin is used to treat severe form of psoriasis in adults. This medication is not a cure for psoriasis, and you may relapse after you stop taking Acitretin. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not take Acitretin more often or increase your dose without consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve any faster but the risk of side effects may increase. It may take 2 to 3 months before the full benefit of this medication is seen.

Typical Uses

Acitretin is a synthetic retinoid, prescribed for severe psoriasis (abnormal growth of skin cells that causes red, thickened, or scaly skin). It regulates the growth of epidermal cells. Acitretin is used to treat serious skin disorders such as severe psoriasis (dry, scaly, wax-like skin rash). It is also used to treat keratin deposition on skin (ichthyoids), skin rash (pityriasis) or small elevations of skin and mucosa (lichen rubber).

Side Effects

Acitretin may lead to redness, itching, skin scaling, peeling and dry skin the first several weeks as your body adjusts to the medication. Dry eyes, eye irritation, crusting of the eyelids, increased sensitivity to sunlight, dry mouth, peeling of the skin of fingertips, palms or soles of feet, chapped lips, runny nose, thirst, taste changes and hair loss may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor immediately.

Drug Interactions

• Acitretin+bexarotene- Using bexarotene together with acitretin may increase the risk of pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas.

• Acitretin+estrogens/medroxyprogesterone- Using acitretin and medroxyprogesterone are not recommended. Acitretin can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy.

• Acitretin+demeclocycline- Using demeclocycline together with acitretin is not recommended. Combining these medications may increase the risk of a rare but potentially serious condition caused by increased pressure in the brain.

• Acitretin+ethanol- Using ethanol and acitretin is not recommended. Women should not drink any alcoholic beverages while taking acitretin or for 2 months after stopping treatment. Alcoholic beverages increase the risk for birth defects while taking acitretin.

• Acitretin+levonorgestrel- Using acitretin and levonorgestrel are not recommended. Acitretin can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Never use acitretin if you are pregnant. Both a primary and a secondary form of birth control must be used together and for at least 3 years after stopping therapy.

Mechanism of action

Acitretin works by inhibiting the excessive cell growth and keratinisation (process by which skin cells become thickened due to the deposition of a protein within them) seen in psoriasis. It therefore, reduces the thickening of the skin, plaque formation and scaling.

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