Soriatane

Generic Name: Acitretin

  • What is Soriatane?

    Soriatane is a form of vitamin A that is prescribed for several types of severe psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that causes inflamed red patches with silvery scales. Soriatane is used when milder forms of treatment have failed.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Soriatane?

    Soriatane must never be taken during pregnancy, as it can cause severe birth defects and physical abnormalities in a developing baby. You must not become pregnant while taking Soriatane and you must also avoid becoming pregnant for a full 3 years after you stop taking it.

    Before starting Soriatane therapy, women of childbearing age must receive birth control counseling and sign a detailed consent form stating they understand the consequences of birth control failure, the risk of birth defects, and the warning not to use alcohol. You must have 2 negative pregnancy tests—1 when you and your doctor decide on a course of Soriatane therapy and 1 immediately before starting treatment. You must take monthly pregnancy tests and continue to receive regular birth control counseling while using Soriatane.

    You must use 2 forms of reliable birth control for at least 1 month prior to starting treatment, as well as for the entire time you take Soriatane and for a full 3 years after discontinuing therapy. It may take 3 years for Soriatane to be eliminated from the body. If you accidentally become pregnant, miss a menstrual period, or have unprotected sex while taking Soriatane, stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately.

    Soriatane may cause mental and behavioral changes. If you start to have symptoms of depression or aggression while taking Soriatane, or if you have thoughts of suicide or self-injury, call the doctor immediately.

    Soriatane does not cure psoriasis; it helps keep it under control. Your condition may return if you stop treatment.

  • Who should not take Soriatane?

    Do not take Soriatane if it causes an allergic reaction or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to other drugs like it. Do not take Soriatane if you have kidney or liver disease, or if you have abnormally high cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

    Do not take Soriatane if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant within the next 3 years.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Soriatane?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Soriatane. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney or liver disease, high blood sugar, high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in your blood, heart disease, depression. Also inform your doctor if you drink alcohol, have a history of alcoholism, are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 25 to 50 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken with your main meal.

    Safety and effectiveness of Soriatane in children have not been established.

  • How should I take Soriatane?

    Take Soriatane with food, exactly as prescribed by your doctor, at about the same time each day.
  • What should I avoid while taking Soriatane?

    Do not drink alcohol or take products containing alcohol while using Soriatane and for at least 2 months after discontinuing treatment. Combining alcohol with Soriatane causes a chemical change that makes it stay in your system longer.

    Soriatane increases your sensitivity to sunlight. To prevent burning, do not stay in the sun for long periods, wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and avoid using sunlamps or tanning beds.

    Adults being treated with Soriatane may not give blood for at least 3 years.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Soriatane?

    If Soriatane is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Soriatane with any of the following: alcohol, birth control pills containing progestin, demeclocycline, doxycycline, etretinate, methotrexate, minocycline, retinoids such as isotretinoin and tretinoin, phenytoin, tetracycline antibiotics

    Avoid taking vitamin supplements that contain vitamin A without your doctor's approval. Soriatane is chemically related to vitamin A, and taking too much can cause harmful side effects or a toxic overdose.

    If you take the herb St. John's wort, do not use hormonal estrogen/progestin pills, implants, or injections as a form of birth control. Women who take these products together can become pregnant. Make sure your doctor knows about any over-the-counter products you are taking.

  • What are the possible side effects of Soriatane?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abnormal bone growth or pain, abnormal skin changes (itching, peeling, rash, sensitivity, thinning), blood clots, changes in blood sugar or cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fat) levels, depression, eye problems (dryness, pain, redness, sensitivity), heart attack, joint pain, lip inflammation, liver disorders, muscle weakness, numbness or swelling of the hands or feet, inflammation of the pancreas, stroke, thoughts of suicide or self-injury, vision problems (blurring, difficulty seeing at night)

  • Can I receive Soriatane if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    If taken during pregnancy, Soriatane can cause severe birth defects and physical abnormalities in a developing baby. Do not take Soriatane if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within 3 years after you stop taking it. Do not take Soriatane if you're breastfeeding, as it can harm a nursing baby.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Soriatane?

    Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • How should I store Soriatane?

    Store at room temperature, away from light and humidity, in a childproof container.