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Prescribed by Dermatologists for the Treatment of Severe Chronic Hand Eczema

Alitretinoin is a vitamin A derivative. It belongs to the group of drug known as retinoids. Retinoids are commonly used in skincare. Alitretinoin is a type of retinoid prescribed by dermatologists for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema. It is used when all other potent corticosteroids ointment, creams or lotion and other measures such as avoiding irritants, allergens and protecting the skin have not been effective in controlling chronic long-term hand eczema.

Alitretinoin works by altering the activity of the immune system in the skin. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. People with scaly and mostly dry thickened hand eczema are more likely to respond to this medication than people with moist and weeping blisters in the skin.

How to use Alitretinoin?

This medication should be prescribed only by a physician with experience in the use of a retinoid. The usual recommended dose is 10 mg to 30 mg per day. Take the soft gel capsule at the same time each day with a meal. The starting dose is 30 mg daily but your doctor may reduce your dose to 10 mg if an adverse reaction will occur. The treatment may last from 12 to 24 weeks depending on the response. If the symptom does not get better after 12 weeks of treatment, your doctor may decide whether you will continue with the treatment or not.

What are the side effects of Alitretinoin?

Some of the common side effects are:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Hair loss
  • Increased liver enzyme
  • Inflamed and dry skin
  • Dry eye
  • Muscle and joint pain

Serious side effects are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nosebleed
  • Cataract
  • Itching, peeling of skin, scaling of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • Excessive dryness

In case of serious side effects, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention right away.

Important Information

  • Do not take this medication if your hand eczema can adequately be controlled using the standard measure.
  • Patients who are below 18 years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding should not use this medication.
  • This medication is not recommended for patients with:
    •  severe renal impairment
    • hepatic impairment
    • elderly
    • Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Use appropriate measure to prevent sun exposure.
  • Use Alitretinoin with caution among patients with diabetes, depression and lipid metabolism disorders.
  • Alitretinoin can cause an increase in cholesterol level in the blood.
  • Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Alitretinoin.
  • Do not take vitamin A supplement while using this medication.