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a topical antineoplastic used in the treatment of AIDS-related cutaneous Kaposi's sarcoma.



Pharmacologic class: Second-generation retinoid

Therapeutic class: Topical antineoplastic

Pregnancy risk category D


Binds to and activates intracellular retinoid receptor subtypes, regulating expression of genes that control cellular differentiation and proliferation


Topical gel: 0.1%

Indications and dosages

Treatment of cutaneous lesions in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma

Adults: Apply to lesions b.i.d., gradually increasing to t.i.d. or q.i.d. according to individual lesion tolerance


• Hypersensitivity to retinoids or other drug components


Use cautiously in:
• photosensitivity
• concomitant use of insecticides containing diethyltoluamide (DEET)
• elderly patients
• pregnant or breastfeeding patients
• children.


• Apply generous amount of gel to affected area. Let it dry for 3 to 5 minutes before covering with clothing.

Adverse reactions

CNS: paresthesia

Skin: rash, pruritus, exfoliative dermatitis, skin disorder at application site (such as abrasion, burning, blisters, excoriation, scab, cracking, crusting, drainage, eschar, fissure, oozing, peeling, redness, or swelling), edema

Other: pain, increased sensitivity to sunlight or sun lamps


Drug-behaviors.DEET-containing insect repellents: increased adverse reactions to DEET

Patient monitoring

• Monitor patient for serious adverse effects, especially burns caused by exposure to sunlight or sun lamps.

Patient teaching

• Instruct patient to apply generous amount of gel to affected skin area and let dry for 3 to 5 minutes before covering area with clothing.
• Caution patient to avoid applying gel to mucous membranes or to normal skin surrounding lesions.

Inform patient that drug increases sensitivity to sunlight and that exposure to sunlight or sun lamps (even through window glass or on a cloudy day) may cause serious burn of treated areas. Caution him to avoid such exposure.
• Tell patient to avoid insect repellents containing DEET during therapy.
• Emphasize importance of keeping all medical appointments so prescriber can check progress and monitor for unwanted drug effects.
• Advise females of childbearing potential to avoid becoming pregnant while using this drug.
• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the behaviors mentioned above.


/al·i·tret·i·noin/ (-tret´ĭ-noin″) a topical antineoplastic used in the treatment of AIDS-related cutaneous Kaposi's sarcoma.


a second-generation retinoid.
indication It is used to treat the cutaneous lesions of Kaposi's sarcoma.
contraindications Known hypersensitivity and pregnancy prohibit this drug's use.
adverse effects Side effects include rash, stinging, warmth, redness, erythema, blistering, crusting, peeling, contact dermatitis, and pain at the site of application.
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References in periodicals archive ?
3, ATC Code: D11AH04, Generic Name: alitretinoin, pharmaceutical form: Tablets / capsules Stren
Other local therapies used to manage bulky lesions or for cosmesis include external beam radiation, laser therapy, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, topical alitretinoin gel, and intralesional vinblastine.
Local therapies include alitretinoin gel, intralesional chemotherapy, radiotherapy with less than 20Gy, laser and cryotherapy.
Basilea received an upfront payment of CHF 224 million and is eligible for a further milestone payment of up to GBP 50 million related to a regulatory milestone of alitretinoin in the U.
Low levels of alitretinoin in seminal fluids after repeated oral doses in healthy men.
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For the gallery I have chosen before and after pictures of a patient with chronic hand eczema treated with the new retinoid alitretinoin.
Alitretinoin cleared the skin of people suffering from chronic hand dermatitis, a disease that causes blisters, fissures and pain, in the final stage of clinical tests, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said.
Disease manifestations restricted to the skin can be treated with topical alitretinoin gel, intralesional vinblastine, intralesional interferon, radiotherapy, laser therapy, or cryotherapy.
Alitretinoin is a panagonist that activates all RAR and RXR receptor subtypes.
Basilea receives an upfront payment of approximately CHF 225 million (GBP 146 million) and will be eligible for a further milestone payment of up to GBP 50 million, related to a regulatory milestone of alitretinoin in the U.
The recent launch of alitretinoin (Toctino; Basilea Pharmaceuticals) for those with severe CHE who are unresponsive to other treatments represents a major step forwards in the treatment of this condition.