What is this medicine?
TRETINOIN (TRET i noe in) is a medicine belonging to a class called the retinoids. It is similar to vitamin A. It is used to treat certain leukemias, such as acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding.
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
changes in blood pressure
changes in emotions or moods
changes in hearing
changes in vision
hallucination, loss of contact with reality
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
problems with balance, talking, walking
swelling of the ankles, feet, hands
trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
water or weight gain
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
changes in skin color
loss of appetite
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
vitamin A supplements
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, itraconazole, and voriconazole
medicines that increase your sensitivity to sunlight such as tetracyclines or sulfa drugs
steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at 15 to 30 degrees C (59 to 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
an unusual or allergic reaction to tretinoin, vitamin A, parabens, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks.
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. You should have a pregnancy test within 1 week before starting this medicine. Use 2 kinds of birth control and take monthly pregnancy tests while you are taking this medicine and for 1 month after stopping this medicine. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.