Panretin - Alitretinoin Gel
What is this medication?
ALITRETINOIN (a li TRE ti noyn) treats skin sores caused by Kaposi sarcoma. It works by slowing down the growth of cancer cells. It belongs to a group of medications called retinoids.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Panretin
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- An unusual or allergic reaction to alitretinoin, vitamin A, other vitamin A analogs or retinoids, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication 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. Use your medication at regular intervals. Do not use your medication more often than directed.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
- DEET (N,N diethyl-m-toluamide)-containing insect repellents
- Do not use any other skin products on the same area of skin without talking to your care team.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
This medication 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.
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.
Talk to your care team if you wish to become pregnant or think you might be pregnant. This medication can cause serious birth defects.
Talk to your care team before breast-feeding. Changes to your treatment plan may be needed.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Burning, itching, crusting, or peeling of treated skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Mild skin irritation, redness, or dryness
- Sensitivity to light
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date. This medication is flammable. Avoid exposure to heat, fire, flame, and smoking.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Additional Information From Chemocare.com About Panretin
- Try to avoid applying the gel to unaffected skin. This will decrease irritation to the healthy, surrounding tissues near the site of the tumor.
- You may start to see an improvement in the sores in about 2 to 4 weeks. However, you may need to take the medication longer, according to your healthcare provider's recommendations. Do not stop the medication without discussing first with your healthcare provider.
- Do not apply any other lotions or insect repellents on top of the gel. This may cause an adverse reaction with the medication.
- This medication will make you extremely sensitive to the light. You must wear sunglasses when outside, and avoid sun exposure. Do not use a sun lamp. Wear protective clothing, and also wear SPF 15 (or higher) sun block.
- Wash your hands often.
When to contact your doctor or health care provider:
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not emergency situations. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following.
- Skin irritation
- Excessive dryness
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.