Alitretinoin Gel

Where is Alitretinoin used?

Alitretinoin is used for the treatment of skin sores. It usually occurs in patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma which is a type of cancer that forms masses in lymph nodes, skin, or other organs.

Alitretinoin is an anti-cancer or antineoplastic/cytotoxic chemotherapy drug. This medication can also be classified as a retinoid that controls the progress of the normal cell. It is relatively a new type of anti-cancer drug that binds to different receptors and affects cell growth and differentiation. This medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How does Alitretinoin work?

Retinoid medications are relatives of vitamin A. It controls normal cell growth, cell differentiation, and cell death during embryonic development. The effects of retinoids on the cells are controlled by receptors on the nucleus of each cell.

Alitretinoin stimulates and binds all identified intracellular retinoid receptor subtypes. These active receptors work as transcription factors that control the expression of genes. It also controls the process of cell separation and production. It also controls both normal and neoplastic cells. This medication prevents the progression of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) cells in vitro.

How to use Alitretinoin?

This medication comes in gel form for external use. The gel is usually applied two times a day. Apply it directly to the lesions. Allow the gel to dry for about 3 to 5 minutes before putting on clothing. Before applying the gel, it is recommended to wait 20 minutes after bathing. You should avoid showering, swimming, or bathing for 3 hours after applying the gel. The prescribed number of daily applications will be given by your doctor. Use the gel at the same time each day to help you remember.

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying the gel. Do not apply unaffected areas or near mucus membranes. Do not cover or wrap the affected areas unless your doctor tells you to do so. If your condition does not improve or if it gets worse, call your doctor right away. In two weeks of treatment, you should start to see an improvement in your skin condition. However, it may take up to 14 weeks of treatment to see the benefit.

What are the possible side effects of Alitretinoin?

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Rash
  • Stinging
  • Itching
  • Peeling of the skin

What are the precautions in taking Alitretinoin?

  • Before using Alitretinoin, tell to your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any allergies as well as medical history, or current medications.
  • This is not prescribed for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Since this medicine is absorbed through the skin and might harm an unborn baby, pregnant women must not handle this gel.
  • Limit your time in the sun as this medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. If you get blisters, tell your doctor right away.
  • This medication is applied to the skin only and not taken by mouth.
  • This may contain flammable alcohol. Do not use this while smoking or near an open flame.
  • Keep this away from the heat and the reach of children.