What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks.
This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. You should have a pregnancy test within 1 week before starting this medicine. Use 2 kinds of birth control and take monthly pregnancy tests while you are taking this medicine and for 1 month after stopping this medicine. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine.
Common and Rare Side Effects
In some animal studies, tretinoin has been shown to cause skin tumors to develop faster when the treated area is exposed to ultraviolet light (sunlight or artificial sunlight from a sunlamp). Other studies have not shown the same result and more studies need to be done. It is not known if tretinoin causes skin tumors to develop faster in humans.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Burning feeling or stinging skin (severe)
lightening of skin of treated area, unexpected
peeling of skin (severe)
redness of skin (severe)
unusual dryness of skin (severe)
Darkening of treated skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Burning feeling, stinging, or tingling of skin (mild)—lasting for a short time after first applying the medicine
chapping or slight peeling of skin (mild)
redness of skin (mild)
unusual dryness of skin (mild)
unusually warm skin (mild)
The side effects will go away after you stop using tretinoin. On the rare chance that your skin color changes, this effect may last for several months before your skin color returns to normal.
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.