Etretinate (Tegison?) is an oral retinoid used in the treatment of recalcitrant psoriasis vulgaris, pustular psoriasis, and keratinizing disorders.


  • Pregnancy - etretinate is a potent teratogen. It must only be used after a negative pregnancy test, and is started immediately after the next menses. Females must be on birth control, preferably 2 types, unless there is certainty of abstinence from sexual intercourse.
  • Etretinate persists in the body for a very long time, possibly years. It should therefore be used with great circumspection in females not past the childbearing years. For some capacity for childbearing is an absolute contraindication.
  • Etretinate is being replaced by acitretin, which has a much shorter elimination period.


  • Lactation - safety for the infant has not been established.
  • Long term use is associated with the development of hyperostosis.
  • Avoid if pre-existing liver damage.

Adverse effects:

  • Xerosis, cheilitis, dry eyes
  • Myalgia
  • Elevated triglyceride and/or cholesterol. Levels early in treatment should be monitored at least monthly.
  • Other side effects - please consult your compendium.


  • 50 to 75 mg/day (0.75 - 1.0 mg/kg/day) is the usual dose.
  • Careful monitoring for systemic side effects is required.

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