Use 2 effective birth control methods starting 1 month before taking this medication and at least 3 years after treatment has stopped. Do not use "minipills" (non-estrogen-containing pills) for birth control because they may not work as well with this drug.
Females who are able to have children must not use this medication unless the following requirements are met: test negative on 2 pregnancy tests (they should be taken 1 week before starting this drug or at least 11 days after the last act of unprotected sexual intercourse); start therapy within 7 days of taking the second pregnancy test; present severe psoriasis and other treatments cannot be used; receive oral and written information on using 2 methods of birth control while taking this drug and for 3 years after stopping it; aware of the dangers of birth control failure and use during pregnancy; understand and correctly follow all birth control requirements and instructions including monthly pregnancy tests during treatment and every 3 months for 3 years after treatment has stopped.
Do not drink alcohol while using acitretin and for 2 months after stopping it because alcohol causes this drug to stay in the body longer.
It is not known if traces of this drug found in semen of male patients pose a risk to the unborn baby during use or after treatment has stopped.
Acitretin may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease (hepatitis) and increased fluid pressure on the brain (pseudotumor cerebri). If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, get medical help right away: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual tiredness, persistent/severe headache, or vision changes (such as blurred/double vision, decreased vision).
Rarely, acitretin may cause serious mental/mood changes, even after stopping the medication. Get medical help right away if you have symptoms such as depression, irritability, aggressive or violent behavior, or thoughts of suicide.
How to use Acitretin
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using acitretin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Read and complete the Patient Agreement and Informed Consent document before taking this drug.
Take this medication by mouth exactly as prescribed, usually once a day with your main meal.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not take this 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.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the capsules.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.