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Tretinoin (Vesanoid) Drug for AIDS/HIV: Use, Side Effects, Interactions




Tretinoin
(Vesanoid, United States and Canada)

More drugs used for Cancer.

Use:

Tretinoin or Vesanoid is used internally for the treatment of cancer - promyelocytic leukemia.

How It Works:

While Tretinoin or Vesanoid is used more often topically for the treatment of acne and aging skin, it can be used orally for a specific type of cancer - promyelocytic leukemia. In this type of cancer, the promyelocytes fail to differentiate into mature granulocytes. Tretinoin or Vesanoid seems to induce the terminal differentiation - gets immature cells to differentiate and mature normally. Clinical remission of cancer occurs without causing bone marrow suppression.

Side Effects:

Oral Tretinoin or Vesanoid can cause dry skin, dry mucous membranes, fever, headache, and bone pain. Neurological side effects can also occur.

Cautions for People:

Pregnant or nursing women cannot use oral Tretinoin or Vesanoid. Children respond well, however their dose has to be lower because of their increased susceptibility to neurological side effects.
Oral Tretinoin or Vesanoid is not intended for maintenance therapy, because resistance quickly develops - maximum of 30-60 days. Consolidation therapy is usually begun immediately.
Oral Tretinoin or Vesanoid therapy is only effective in people with a specific genetic defect - t(15;17) chromosomal translocation.

Drug Interactions:

Tretinoin or Vesanoid should be applied to the skin after it has been cleaned thoroughly, thus it should not be combined with other skin creams or ointments.

Further Reading:

Drugs 1995;50(5):897
Blood 1995;85(10):2643
Cancer 1995;76:602

Added to Virtual Drugstore November 1996.

The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.













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