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  • Generic Name: (bexarotene)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 08/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Targretin capsules are used to treat skin problems in people with a type of skin cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) who have not responded to at least one other therapy.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Targretin capsules are thought to work by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Targretin capsules may help reduce redness, scaling, plaque elevation, or changes in skin color associated with CTCL.

      When: You may see an improvement in your skin within several weeks of starting treatment with Targretin capsules. However, everyone responds differently to treatment and most people require several months or more of treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may start to notice an improvement in your skin after starting treatment with Targretin capsules. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may examine your skin regularly to check how well this medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Targretin capsules may harm your unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you believe or suspect you are pregnant while you are taking Targretin capsules and until one month after you stop taking them. If you are a woman of childbearing age, you must have a pregnancy test within one week before you start treatment with Targretin capsules and monthly while you are taking them. You must use effective birth control starting one month before you begin treatment with Targretin capsules until one month after you stop taking them. It is recommended that you use two reliable forms of birth control together. Targretin capsules may reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control. Therefore, it is recommended that one of the forms of birth control be nonhormonal (such as condoms). Men with sexual partners who are pregnant, possibly pregnant, or who could become pregnant must use condoms during sexual intercourse while taking Targretin capsules and for at least one month after the last dose.

      More common side effects may include: increased cholesterol (fats in your blood) levels, headache, underactive thyroid, weakness, low white blood cell counts, rash, nausea, infection, swelling of your hands or feet, abdominal (stomach area) pain, dry skin.

      Symptoms of underactive thyroid may include: excessive tiredness, low energy levels, or feeling unusually cold all the time.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Targretin capsules may cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), liver problems, or cataracts.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Targretin capsules if you are allergic to them or any of their ingredients.

      Do not take Targretin capsules if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.


    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Targretin capsules. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver, thyroid, or gallbladder problems; high cholesterol or triglyceride (type of fat in the blood) levels; diabetes; cataracts; history of pancreatitis; drink alcohol; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your height and weight.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Targretin capsules exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Targretin capsules without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      Take Targretin capsules as a single daily dose with a meal.

      It is important that you limit the amount of vitamin A that you take during treatment with Targretin capsules. Talk to your healthcare provider about vitamin A intake.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not become pregnant while you are taking Targretin capsules.

      Do not expose your skin to excessive sunlight and ultraviolet lights (such as sunlamps or tanning lamps) while taking Targretin capsules.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Targretin capsules are taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Targretin capsules may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      Targretin capsules may harm your unborn baby if you take them during pregnancy. Do not take Targretin capsules if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Targretin capsules, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

      Do not expose Targretin capsules to high temperatures and humidity after the bottle is opened.


    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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