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Generic Name: Acitretin [a-si
Brand Names: soriatane, soriatane ck
Dosage Form: oral capsule (10 mg; 17.5 mg; 25 mg)
Drug Class: Antipsoriatics

What is Acitretin?

Acitretin is a type of retinoid, which is a form of vitamin A.

Acitretin is utilized for treating severe skin rashes in adults. Acitretin isn't a solution for psoriasis. You could relapse after stopping the medication.

Acitretin can also be utilized to treat conditions not covered in the medication guide.

Side effects of Acitretin

Contact a medical professional immediately. Get medical attention immediately if you notice symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, like hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the lips, face, and tongue.

Mild effects

  • Mood swings: mood changes, depression or aggression, strange behavior or thought patterns, or the idea of harming yourself

  • Heart attack or stroke symptoms include chest discomfort, dizziness, nausea, the sensation of being short of breath, numbness that suddenly occurs or weakening (especially in one part or the other), sudden extreme headaches, speech problems, or problems with balance, or swelling or the sensation of warmth on one or both legs.

  • high blood sugar—increased thirst, more frequent urine output, dry mouth, the odor of fruity breath, headaches, as well as blurred vision

  • An increase in pressure within the skull, causing severe headaches, constant ringing in the ears, nausea, dizziness headaches, eye problems, and headaches behind your eyes,

  • Liver issues: nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dark urine jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin);

  • Troubles with your bones and muscles—loss of sensation on your feet or hands or feet, difficulty moving, and pain in your back, joints, bones, muscles, or joints;

  • Skin problems that are serious, such as irritation and redness in the skin, swelling, or peeling the skin

  • Indications of a problem with blood vessels—sudden swelling, rapid weight gain, fever, muscle pain, and feeling lightheaded.

Adverse side effects

  • Dry mouth, chapped lips;

  • The skin is itchy, scaly, or itchy;

  • Weak nails, fragile skin;

  • Skin peeling on your feet and hands;

  • Hair loss;

  • Dry eyes and irritation while wearing contact lenses

  • Dry, runny, or irritated nose; bleeding nose;

  • Joint pain and tight muscles.

It isn't a comprehensive listing of all side effects. Other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on the negative effects. The best way to report adverse reactions is to call the FDA at 1-800-fda-1088.


Acitretin is known to cause birth problems. Don't take acitretin when you are expecting or are likely to become pregnant within 3 years of stopping using it.

It is essential to use birth control methods to stay away from becoming pregnant when taking acitretin and at least three years after the most recent dosage. You will need regularly scheduled pregnancy tests to ensure that you're not pregnant.

Women who want to become pregnant are advised not to drink alcohol during a treatment with acitretin and for a minimum of 2 months following the dose that was last taken. Alcohol can cause the acitretin drug to change into another substance within your body, which may take three years or more to eliminate.

Both women and men must not make blood donations while taking acitretin or for at least three years after taking the last dose. If donated blood with acitretin in it is given to pregnant women, there is a risk of birth problems.

Acitretin could cause serious liver damage. Stop taking this medication and consult your doctor promptly if you notice symptoms like nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite or thirst, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing on the eyes or skin).

Before You Take This Drug

Do not use this drug if you are sensitive to any of the retinoids (acitretin, isotretinoin, or tretinoin; accutane claravis, myorisan, refissa, Renova, retin-a, and more) or if you are pregnant.

  • If you suffer from kidney disease or a severe kidney disease,

  • There are high levels of triglycerides (a kind of fat) in your blood.

  • You are breastfeeding or pregnant.

  • You are also taking methotrexate. You are also using methotrexate.

  • You can also use a tetracycline-based antibiotic (such as doxycycline, demeclocycline, minocycline, tetracycline, and many others).

Acitretin can be purchased by women who have signed an agreement in which they use approved birth control methods and go through the required tests for pregnancy while using this medication, at a minimum of 3 years from the time they last took their dose.

Women taking acitretin who haven't been through a hysterectomy and have not gone through menopausal transition: Before you start taking acitretin, make sure you are able to pass two pregnancy tests that are negative (when your doctor initially prescribes acitretin and then again within the first five days of your menstrual cycle shortly before beginning to take the medication). Also, you will require pregnancy tests each month during the time you take the medication, as well as every three months until at least three years have passed since the previous dose.

Acitretin could cause birth problems. Avoid taking acitretin if you are expecting or are likely to become pregnant within three years following the time you stopped taking the medication. It is recommended to use two effective methods of birth control in order to stay clear of becoming pregnant while using acitretin for a minimum of 3 years after the dose you last took.

Don't miss an appointment for a pregnancy test, as you may not be able to continue using the medication acitretin.

Acitretin is a substance that can be found in the milk of a nursing baby and causes serious reactions in breastfeeding babies. 

To ensure that acitretin is appropriate for you, ask your physician if any of the following:

  • Phototherapy;

  • The liver or kidneys are infected;

  • heart disease;

  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat that is found in the blood);

  • diabetic (you might need to check the blood sugar level more often);

  • A habit of drinking massive quantities of alcohol

  • Depression or

  • If you've ever taken the medicine Exterminate (tension, tigason),

How to Take Acitretin


Be sure to follow all the directions listed on the prescription label. Avoid taking acitretin in greater or lesser quantities or for longer than what is suggested.

Eat acitretin in conjunction with food.

It could take between 2 and 3 months to see your symptoms get better or improve, and psoriasis can worsen when you begin to take acitretin. Continue taking the medicine according to the directions, and inform your doctor if the symptoms don't improve.

When you are taking acitretin, it is possible that you will require regular blood tests. If you take this drug for a long time, you might require further medical tests, such as X-rays.

Do not share this medication with another person, even if they are suffering from the same issues that you are.

Keep at room temperature, free of heat, moisture, and the sun's rays.

Details on dosage

Usual adult dose for psoriasis:

The initial dose is 25 to 50 mg orally daily, taken in a single dose with meals.

The dosage for maintenance is 25–50 mg taken orally every day, depending on the patient's initial response.

Commentary: If used in conjunction with phototherapy, a healthcare professional must reduce the dose of phototherapy depending on the response of each patient.

Treatment of chronic psoriasis for adults

What Happens if I Miss a Dose?

Don't miss the missed dose. Instead, take the following regularly scheduled dose: avoid using any extra medicine in order to fill the missing dose.

What Happens if I Overdose?

Get medical assistance in an emergency or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdoses may cause headaches or severe dizziness.

What Should be Avoided?

Women who want to become pregnant should not drink alcohol during the time they are taking acitretin and at least for 2 months following the dosage. Any alcohol swallowed during this period can trigger the conversion of acitretin into an additional substance within the body, which may take three years or more to remove from the body. Be sure to read the labels on all medications and food items you consume to ensure they don't contain alcohol.

Women and men shouldn't donate blood when taking acitretin for a minimum of 3 years following the dose that was last taken. If donated blood with acitretin in it is given to a woman expecting a baby, there is a risk of birth problems.

Do not take more than the recommended daily limit for vitamin a. Acitretin can be one form of vitamin a, as can numerous multivitamin items or nutritional supplements enriched with vitamin a. Consuming certain supplements together could make you gain excess vitamin a.

Do not expose yourself to sunlight or tanning beds. Acitretin could cause burns more quickly. Protect yourself with protective clothing and apply sunblock (spf 30 or greater) outdoors.

Acitretin could affect vision, particularly at night. Take care when driving or performing any other activity that requires you to be able to see clearly.

Interaction with Other Drugs

Inform your physician about any medications you currently take as well as any new medications you begin or stop taking, particularly:

  • Glyburide;

  • Phenytoin;

  • St. John's wort 

  • Hormone replacement therapy, also known as birth medications for controlling birth (especially "minipills").

This is not a complete list. Different drugs can interfere with acitretin. This includes medications that are prescribed and available over the counter, vitamins, and herbs. The interactions of all drugs are included in this medication guideline.



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