How does this medicine work?
Retinoic (ret-tin-o-ick) acid interferes with the growth and development of cells. It is related to vitamin A.
How is it given?
Retinoic acid is given by mouth. It comes in capsule form and should be swallowed whole with food or milk. It should be given at regular times to keep a steady level in the bloodstream. Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine.
For children who cannot swallow capsules, put on gloves and:
- Soften the capsule in warm water. Then your child can bite or chew it.
- Open the capsule in a clear plastic bag. Mix the medicine with a small amount of higher-fat food such as ice cream or peanut butter. Give it immediately, and make sure your child takes all of the mixture.
- If using a feeding tube, soften the capsule in warm whole milk. Puncture or cut open the capsule and squeeze the liquid into the milk. Draw the mixture into an oral syringe and give the mixture through the feeding tube. Flush the feeding tube well with a minimum of 30ml of milk or tube feed.
Note: The medicine breaks down quickly if exposed to light and air, so it must be given right away after preparing it.
Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?
Give it with food or milk, especially higher- fat foods, to increase absorption.
Do not take vitamin supplements that contain vitamin A, because they may increase the side effects of retinoic acid.
Tell your doctor if your child is on tetracycline. Check with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins.
What should I do if a dose is missed?
If a dose is missed, please call the clinic.
What are the side effects?
- dry skin
- dry mouth and nose
- swollen and sore lips
- skin sensitivity to sunlight
- skin rash, redness, flushing, or peeling
- muscle and bone aches and weakness blood pressure changes
- nausea and vomiting
- changes in vision
- mood changes
- eye irritation, soreness
- high levels of fat in the blood
- high levels of liver enzymes in the blood
- muscle pains
- feeling tired
- changes in skin color
- upset stomach
- mood changes
- fluid buildup in the brain, causing headaches
- low red and white blood cell counts
- abnormality of the eyes
- retinoic acid syndrome:
- abnormal increase in white blood cells
- low blood pressure
- trouble breathing