Brand name: Targretin®
Bexarotene is a retinoid, a type of synthetic vitamin A, that has been shown to be effective in CTCL when administered systemically in capsule form. Oral bexarotene has been approved for the treatment of all stages of CTCL. It may be given as a single agent or may be combined with other forms of therapy. Most patients require several months of this oral therapy before improvement is observed. Blood tests to monitor side effects are required while taking oral bexarotene. An increase in the blood levels of lipids (fats) is very common. Medications to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels are often prescribed to patients taking bexarotene. Decreased thyroid levels can be a side effect of bexarotene and is monitored closely throughout the course.
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Bexarotene in the Treatment of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL). Herschel S. Zackheim, M.D.