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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 79  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 759--771

Acitretin in dermatology

Department of Dermatology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rashmi Sarkar
Department of Dermatology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 092
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.120721

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Acitretin, a synthetic retinoid has gradually replaced etretinate in today's dermatologic practice because of its more favorable pharmacokinetics. Acitretin over the past 20 years has proven useful in a number of difficult-to-treat hyperkeratotic and inflammatory dermatoses and nonmelanoma skin cancers. It is effective both as monotherapy and in combination with other drugs for hyperkeratotic disorders. It is considered to be an established second line treatment for psoriasis and exerts its effect mainly due to its antikeratinizing, antiinflammatory, and antiproliferative effect. Its antineoplastic properties make it a useful agent for cancer prophylaxis. Evidence-based efficacy, side-effect profile, and approach to the use of acitretin would be discussed in this review. In addition to its approved uses, the various off label uses will also be highlighted in this section. Since its use is limited by its teratogenic potential and other adverse effects, including mucocutaneous effects and hepatotoxicity, this review would summarize the contraindications and precautions to be exercised before prescribing acitretin.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow