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In the U.S.-
Bexarotene (beks-AIR-oh-teen ) belongs to the group of medicines known as retinoids ( RET-i-noyds) . It is used to treat a certain type of cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It works by interfering with the growth of the cancerous cells.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For bexarotene, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to bexarotene or other retinoid (vitamin A) preparations. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Bexarotene must not be taken during pregnancy because of the possible risks to the infant. In addition, bexarotene must not be taken if there is a chance that you may become pregnant 1 month before treatment, during treatment, and within 1 month after treatment is ended. Women who are able to have children must have a pregnancy test done within 1 week before starting bexarotene, to make sure they are not pregnant. The pregnancy test must be repeated once a month during treatment. For 1 month before treatment with bexarotene, during treatment, and for 1 month after treatment is over, you must use two effective forms of birth control at the same time. Bexarotene may interfere with the effectiveness of hormonal birth control (such as the pills), so one form of birth control should be non-hormonal, such as condoms. Male patients with sexual partners who are pregnant, possibly pregnant, or who could become pregnant must use condoms during sexual intercourse while taking bexarotene and for at least 1 month after taking the last dose. Be sure you have discussed this information with your doctor.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether this medicine passes into breast milk. However, bexarotene is not recommended during breast-feeding, because it may cause unwanted effects in nursing babies.
Children- Studies of this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing the use of bexarotene in children with use in other age groups.
Older adults- This medicine has been tested in patients 60 years of age or older and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults. However, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of bexarotene.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking bexarotene, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are using any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of bexarotene. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially
Proper Use of This Medicine
Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor . Do not use more or less of it, and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. The exact amount of medicine you need has been carefully worked out. Using too much will increase the risk of side effects, while using too little may not improve your condition.
The dose of bexarotene will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of bexarotene. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
While you are being treated with bexarotene, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval . Bexarotene may lower your body's resistance, and there is a chance you might get the infection that the immunization is meant to prevent. In addition, other persons living in your household should not take oral polio vaccine, since there is a chance they could pass the polio virus on to you. Also, avoid persons who have taken oral polio vaccine within the last several months. Do not get close to them, and do not stay in the room with them for very long. If you cannot take these precautions, you should consider wearing a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Bexarotene can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
Bexarotene may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight, even for brief periods of time, may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration of the skin, or a severe sunburn. When you begin taking this medicine:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Since this medication is given in varying doses, the actual frequency of side effects may vary. In general, side effects are less common with lower doses than with higher doses.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT