Classes Nutritional Supplement
Vitamin Analogue
Diseases Psoriasis
Skin Disorder


Acitretin is a retinoid, specifically a synthetic derivative of vitamin A. It functions by reducing the production of skin cells and increasing their maturation, thereby alleviating symptoms of psoriasis. Acitretin is classified as a second-generation retinoid.


Acitretin is indicated for the treatment of severe psoriasis in adults who have not responded to or cannot tolerate other therapies, such as topical agents or phototherapy.


The dosage and administration of acitretin depend on the severity of the psoriasis and the patient's response to treatment. The recommended starting dose is 25 to 50 mg/day, and the maximum recommended dose is 75 mg/day. The medication is taken orally with food.


The most common adverse reactions associated with acitretin use include:

  • Dry skin and mucous membranes
  • Pruritus
  • Alopecia
  • Skin peeling and blistering
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Photosensitivity


Patients taking acitretin should be aware of the following warnings and precautions:

  • Women of childbearing potential must use two reliable methods of contraception for at least 3 years after discontinuing the medication due to the teratogenicity of acitretin.
  • Acitretin is contraindicated in pregnant women and should not be used in women who may become pregnant.
  • Acitretin should be used with caution in patients with a history of depression, suicidal ideation, or other psychiatric disorders due to the potential risk of exacerbation.
  • Patients taking acitretin should avoid donating blood for at least 3 years after discontinuing the medication due to the potential risk of birth defects in the event that the blood is transfused to a pregnant woman.
  • Patients taking acitretin should avoid excessive exposure to sunlight or artificial UV light due to the increased risk of photosensitivity reactions.



Acitretin is contraindicated in the following populations:

  • Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant
  • Patients with severe hepatic or renal impairment
  • Patients with elevated blood lipid levels uncontrolled by medication or dietary measures.