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J Dermatol. 1993 Aug;20(8):501-6.

Clinical efficacy and side effects of acitretin on the disorders of keratinization: a one-year study.

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Institute of Dermatology, Bangkok, Thailand.


Acitretin, Ro 10-1670, the principal and free acid metabolite of etretinate, was used to treat twenty patients with disorders of keratinization. An open, prospective study of clinical efficacy, tolerability, and the effects of acitretin on lipid metabolism, hepatic function, and the osteoarticular system was performed over a one year period. Each patient was initially treated with 30 mg/day of acitretin or approximately 0.6 mg/kg/day. Doses were adjusted according to the clinical efficacy and maintained for one year. There were no statistically significant changes in liver function tests or lipid profile. Twelve of eighteen evaluated patients developed asymptomatic skeletal changes; the most common change was disc space narrowing, especially at thoracic-spine level (7 of 18 patients). The earliest bone change was detected 9 months after treatment. Acitretin is effective in improving the disorders of keratinization with mild mucocutaneous side effects and asymptomatic osteoarticular changes.

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