Hormonal Contraceptives/Bexarotene Interactions

This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.

Medical warning:

Serious. These medicines may interact and cause very harmful effects. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

When these two medicines are taken together, your body may process your birth control faster.

What might happen:

The effects of your birth control pills may decrease and cause breakthrough bleeding, spotting, or pregnancy. The effects of the interaction may last for several weeks after you stop taking your bexarotene medicine.

What you should do about this interaction:

Talk to your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor, pharmacist) as soon as possible about using a different or additional form of birth control while you are taking bexarotene and for several weeks after finishing it. Contact your doctor if you experience breakthrough bleeding, spotting, or pregnancy.Emergency contraceptives may be less effective also. You may need a larger dose than normal. Discuss the dose and the need to confirm that you do not become pregnant with a pregnancy test with your healthcare professional.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

  • 1.Targretin (bexarotene) Capsules US prescribing information. Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC July, 2015.
  • 2.Nor-Q-D (norethindrone) US prescribing information. WatsonPharma March, 2005.
  • 3.USMedical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use 2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/rr/pdfs/rr6503.pdf July 29, 2016; 65(3):.

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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.