bexarotene (topical)

Pronunciation: beks AIR oh teen

Brand: Targretin Topical

What is the most important information I should know about bexarotene topical?

Multum nopreg

Bexarotene topical can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant, or if you are a man and your sexual partner is pregnant. Use at least 2 reliable forms of birth control while either sexual partner is using bexarotene topical. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 30 days after treatment ends. If you are a woman, you must have a negative pregnancy test before you start using bexarotene topical, and you should start the medication on the second or third day of a normal menstrual period.

Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, if you stop using birth control, or if you miss a menstrual period.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to bexarotene, or if you have liver or kidney disease. Avoid taking a vitamin A supplement without your doctor's advice. Use only the amount your doctor recommends.

Multum nosun

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Bexarotene topical can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What is bexarotene topical?

Bexarotene topical is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Bexarotene topical (for the skin) is used to treat skin lesions caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Bexarotene is usually given after other cancer medications have been tried without successful treatment.

Bexarotene topical may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using bexarotene topical?

Multum donot

You should not use bexarotene topical if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant.

To make sure you can safely use bexarotene topical, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use bexarotene topical if you are pregnant, or if you are a man and your sexual partner is pregnant.

  • If you are a woman, you must have a negative pregnancy test within 7 days before you start using bexarotene topical. A pregnancy test is also required every month during treatment with bexarotene topical.
  • Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant, if you stop using birth control, or if you miss a menstrual period.
  • If you are a man, use a condom to prevent pregnancy during your treatment. Continue using a condom for at least 30 days after you stop using bexarotene topical.
  • Use at least 2 reliable forms of birth control while either sexual partner is using bexarotene topical. Keep using 2 forms of birth control for at least 30 days after you stop using bexarotene topical.
  • Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using bexarotene topical.
Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether bexarotene topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using bexarotene topical.

How should I use bexarotene topical?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Bexarotene topical is usually applied once every other day for the first week. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose each week, until you are applying the medication 2 or more times every day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Women who use bexarotene topical should start the medication on the second or third day of a normal menstrual period.

Multum icon27

Wash your hands before and after using bexarotene topical, unless you are using the medication to treat the skin on your hands.

Apply enough gel to cover each lesion. Allow the gel to dry before covering with clothing. Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage.

Multum donot

Avoid applying the medication to unaffected areas. If medication accidentally gets on areas that do not need treatment, wash it off.

It may take up to several months before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using bexarotene topical.

Multum rt

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

An overdose of bexarotene topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while using bexarotene topical?

Multum donot

Do not use insect repellents or other products that contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) while using bexarotene topical. Bexarotene may increase DEET toxicity, which could be dangerous.

Avoid taking a vitamin A supplement without your doctor's advice. Use only the amount your doctor recommends.

Multum external

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, mouth, or nose. If this does happen, rinse with water.

Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with bexarotene topical unless your doctor tells you to.

What are the possible side effects of bexarotene topical?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Stop using bexarotene topical and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe skin irritation (pain, burning, stinging, itching) after applying this medication;
  • severe skin rash or redness; or
  • swelling, bleeding, or tearing of treated skin.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild burning, stinging, or itching;
  • mild pain, redness, or irritation; or
  • skin dryness or peeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect bexarotene topical?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied bexarotene topical. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has additional information about bexarotene topical written for health professionals that you may read.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2013 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision date: 8/9/2012.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.