What is this medication for?
Acitretin, a derivative of vitamin A, is used to treat severe psoriasis. Acitretin reduces the speed at which the cells involved in psoriasis are formed. It is unknown exactly how this medication works. It may take 2 to 3 months before the full benefit of acitretin is seen. Some people may experience a temporary worsening of their psoriasis at the start of treatment.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Soriatane® is available as:
- 10 mg
- 17.5 mg
- 22.5 mg
- 25 mg
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended starting dose of acitretin is 25 mg to 50 mg once a day with the main meal. The dose of this medication varies from person to person and may change during treatment. When acitretin is used with phototherapy, your doctor may decrease your phototherapy use, depending on your individual factors.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach or children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take acitretin if you:
- are allergic to acitretin, vitamin A, other retinoids, or any ingredients of this medication
- are breast-feeding
- are a woman who cannot use reliable contraception while receiving treatment and for at least 3 years after treatment is stopped
- are pregnant or intend to become pregnant during treatment or any time for at least 3 years after treatment is stopped
- are taking methotrexate or tetracycline
- have repeated high cholesterol levels
- have severely impaired kidney or liver function