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acitretin (A-sih-TREH-tin) is a substance that is used in the prevention of cancer and in the treatment of psoriasis. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

Information about Acitretin

  Acitretin is a vitamin A derivative currently used in the treatment of psoriasis. 


Liver safety of Acitretin

Acitretin, like many retinoids, can lead to increase in serum aminotransferase levels and has been implicated in cases of acute liver injury which can be severe and even fatal.   == Mechanism of action of Acitretin ==  Acitretin (a" si tre' tin) is an aromatic retinoid and the major metabolite of etretinate (e tret' i nate).  Acitretin has replaced etretinate in clinical practice in the therapy of psoriasis because of its more favorable pharmacokinetics and half-life.  Its mechanism of action in psoriasis is believed to be mediated by activation of retinoic acid and retinoid X receptors, which regulate gene expression important in growth and differentiation.  Acitretin is considered a second generation retinoid and its relative lack of receptor specificity accounts for its many adverse side effects.  All oral retinoids are potent teratogens and must be avoided or used with extreme caution in women of childbearing potential. 

FDA approval information for Acitretin

Acitretin was approved for use in psoriasis and acne in the United States in 1996, but is currently used only in therapy of severe psoriasis unresponsive to conventional therapies and under strict regulations regarding monitoring and birth control. 

Brand name for Acitretin

Acitretin is available generically and under the brand name of Soriatane in capsules of 10, 17.5, 22.5 and 25 mg, the usual dose in adults being 25 to 50 mg per day. 

Side effects of Acitretin

Common side effects include dry skin, nose bleeds, conjunctivitis and hair loss.  Acitretin is a known teratogen and embryotoxin.

Antipsoriasis agents

Monoclonal Antibodies IL-17A Antagonists

Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonists


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