Bexarotene is a drug to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or cutaneous T-cell lymphoma . Bexarotene is usually used in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have not been successfully treated with other drugs.

Bexarotene belongs to the retinoid class of drugs. This drug works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells . This drug should not be used carelessly and must be according to a doctor's prescription.

Bexarotene trademark: -

What is Bexarotene

group Retinoid
Category Prescription drug
Benefit Treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
Used by Adults and children
Bexarotene for pregnant and lactating women


Category N: Not yet categorized, but this drug should not be used by pregnant women.

Bexarotene is not known to be absorbed into breast milk or not. However, mothers should not breastfeed their babies while using this medicine.

Drug form Capsules and gels

Warning Before Using Bexarotene

Bexarotene should only be used as prescribed by a doctor. The following are some things you need to pay attention to before using bexarotene:

  • Do not use bexarotene if you are allergic to it or to other vitamin A derivatives, such as isotretinoin or tretinoin .
  • Tell your doctor if you have or are suffering from alcoholism, pancreatitis , gallbladder disease, diabetes , high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, ovarian cancer , cataracts, mental disorders , or thyroid disease .
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • This medicine should not be used by women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy. Consult with your doctor regarding the choice of effective contraceptives to prevent pregnancy while undergoing treatment with bexarotene.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during treatment with bexarotene, as this drug can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Do not consume grapefruit or alcoholic beverages while taking bexarotene, as this may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Consult your doctor if you plan to be vaccinated with live vaccines, such as the BCG vaccine , while having treatment with bexarotene.
  • Avoid close contact with people with infectious diseases that are easily transmitted, such as the flu or chickenpox, while undergoing treatment with bexarotene, because it can increase your risk of contracting it.
  • Have regular check-ups with your doctor while you are on treatment with bexarotene, so that your condition can be monitored.
  • See your doctor right away if you experience a drug allergic reaction, overdose, or serious side effect after using bexarotene.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Bexarotene

The dose of bexarotene will be given by the doctor according to the patient's age, body size, health condition, drug dosage form, and patient's response to treatment. In general, the following is the dose of bexarotene for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in adults according to the dosage form of the drug:

  • Bexarotene capsules Initial
    dose is 300 mg/m² body surface area, 1 time a day with meals. The dose may be increased to 400 mg/m² body surface area, if symptoms do not improve after 8 weeks of treatment.
  • Bexarotene gel 1%
    Apply the gel to skin lesions, once every 2 days. The dose will be increased every week up to 4 times a day.

How to Use Bexarotene Properly

Follow the doctor 's advice and read the information listed on the drug packaging label before using bexarotene. Do not reduce or increase the dose without consulting your doctor first. Make sure to use the medication regularly for the treatment to be effective.

Bexarotene in capsule form needs to be taken with food. Swallow the medicine whole, do not bite or suck on the medicine. If the contents of the capsule come into contact with your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water and contact your doctor.

Bexarotene in the form of a gel should only be used on the skin that has lesions. Do not apply it to mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, mouth, lips, anus, or genitals. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the medicine.

Apply an adequate amount of gel to problem areas of the skin. Wait 5–10 minutes before covering the area with a shirt. Do not cover or cover the treated area with plaster or gauze unless directed by your doctor.

Wait up to 20 minutes if you want to use the medicine after bathing. If the medicine has been applied, avoid bathing or swimming for at least 3 hours after application.

If you forget to take a medicine, use it immediately if the interval with the next dose is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Usually, the effectiveness of bexarotene is only seen after several months. Do not stop using the drug before consulting a doctor.

Do regular medical check-ups when using this medicine. Routine examinations need to be carried out so that the development of the condition and the effectiveness of the drug can always be monitored.

Store the packaged bexarotene in a cool, dry place. Avoid the drug from exposure to sunlight and keep the drug out of reach of children.

Bexarotene Interactions with Other Drugs

There are several drug interaction effects that can occur if bexarotene is used with certain drugs, including:

  • Increased blood levels of bexarotene when used with gemfibrozil
  • Decreased effectiveness of live vaccines, such as BCG vaccine or influenza vaccine
  • Increased risk of developing a severe infection when used with fingolimod or siponimod
  • Increased risk of inflammation of the pancreas when used with clomiphene , valproic acid, zidovudine , quetiapine, other vitamin A derivatives, such as isotretinoin
  • Decreased effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives
  • Increased risk of hypoglycemia when used with insulin
  • Increased risk of developing pressure within the head cavity (intracranial hypertension) when used with omadacycline or sarecycline
  • Increased risk of inflammation or sores on the mucous tissue in the mouth ( oral mucositis ) when used with palifermin

Bexarotene Side Effects and Dangers

For bexarotene gel, side effects that can generally arise are peeling, pain, redness, and irritation of the skin that is smeared with the drug.

As for bexarotene capsules, side effects that can occur are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Hard to sleep
  • Dry skin
  • Diarrhea

Check with your doctor if the side effects above don't get better or get worse. See your doctor right away if you have an allergic drug reaction or serious side effects, such as:

  • Muscle pain, cramps, or stiffness
  • Pounding heart or fast heart rate
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Symptoms of hypothyroidism , such as unusual weight gain, constipation, fatigue, weakness, or frequent chills
  • Symptoms of liver disease, such as severe stomach pain, dark urine, or yellowing of the skin and eyes ( jaundice )
  • Symptoms of an infectious disease , such as fever, chills, or sore throat that doesn't get better
  • Mood or mental changes, such as anxiety disorders, depression , or thoughts of suicide
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