Alitretinoin is used to treat skin lesions associated with Kaposi's sarcoma. It helps stop the growth of Kaposi's sarcoma cells.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Alitretinoin comes in topical gel. Alitretinoin is usually used twice a day. Your doctor may tell you to use alitretinoin more or less frequently depending on your response to it. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use alitretinoin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Wash your hands and affected skin area thoroughly with mild soap (not medicated or abrasive soap or soap that dries the skin) and water.
Use clean fingertips, a gauze pad, or a cotton swab to apply the medication.
Apply enough gel to cover the lesion with a generous coating.
Apply the medication to the affected skin area only. Do not apply to unaffected areas; do not apply on or near mucus membranes.
Allow the gel to dry for 3-5 minutes before covering with clothing.
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time to apply the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular application schedule.
Alitretinoin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
warmth or slight stinging of the skin
lightening or darkening of the skin
red, scaling skin
swelling, blistering, or crusting of the skin
pain at site of application
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Alitretinoin is for external use only. Do not let alitretinoin get into your eyes, your nostrils, mouth, or any broken skin, and do not swallow it.
Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. Tell your doctor if your skin condition gets worse or does not improve.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2015. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.