What Targretin 75 mg Soft Capsules is used for and how to use it
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Targretin 75 mg Soft Capsules - Consumer Medicine Information

Manufacture: Eisai Inc.
Country: Great Britain
Condition: Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma, Lymphoma, Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma (Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma)
Class: Antineoplastics, Miscellaneous antineoplastics
Form: Capsules
Ingredients: substance bexarotene, macrogol, polysorbate, povidone and butylated hydroxyanisole, gelatin, sorbitol special-glycerine blend (glycerin, sorbitol, sorbitol anhydrides (1,4-sorbitan), mannitol and water), titanium dioxide (E171) and printing ink (SDA 35A alcohol (ethanol & ethyl acetate), propylene glycol (E1520), iron oxide black (E172), polyvinyl acetate phthalate, purified water, isopropyl alcohol, macrogol 400, ammonium hydroxide 28%)

What Targretin is and What it is Used For

The active substance in Targretin, bexarotene, belongs to a group of medicines known as retinoids, which are related to vitamin A.

Targretin capsules are used by patients with advanced stage cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) whose disease has not responded to other therapies. CTCL is a condition in which certain cells of the body’s lymph system called T-lymphocytes become cancerous and affect the skin.

What You Need to Know Before You Take Targretin

Do not Take Targretin

  • if you are allergic to bexarotene or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in Contents of the pack and other information).
  • if you are pregnant or breast feeding or if you can become pregnant and are not using effective birth control measures.
  • if you have a history of pancreatitis, have uncontrolled lipid (blood fats) elevations (high blood cholesterol or high blood triglycerides), have a condition known as hypervitaminosis A, have uncontrolled thyroid disease, have insufficient liver function or have an ongoing systemic infection.

Warnings and Precautions

Talk to your doctor before taking Targretin if you have a known hypersensitivity to retinoids (related to vitamin A), suffer from liver disease, have high blood lipids or take medicines which may cause high blood lipids, have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes), have had gall bladder or biliary tract disease, or consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

Your fasting blood lipid determinations may have to be performed before therapy is initiated and at weekly intervals afterwards, and then monthly while taking this medicine.

Blood tests to evaluate the function of your liver and thyroid gland and to monitor your red blood cell and white blood cell counts will be obtained before therapy is started and will be monitored during therapy.

Periodic eye exams may be needed if you experience visual difficulties while taking this medicine.

Minimise exposure to sunlight as much as possible and avoid exposure to sun lamps.

Do not take more than 15,000 International Units of vitamin A supplements per day during treatment.

Children and Adolescents

Targretin capsules should not be used in children or adolescents.

Other Medicines and Targretin

Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, such as

  • ketoconazole and itraconazole (used against fungal infections),
  • erythromycin, clarithromycin and rifampicin (used against bacterial infections),
  • phenytoin and phenobarbital (used against seizures),
  • gemfibrozil (used to reduce high levels of fats in the blood such as triglycerides and cholesterol),
  • vitamin A supplements, protease inhibitors (used against viral infections),
  • tamoxifen (used against some forms of cancer),
  • dexamethasone (used for inflammatory conditions),
  • insulin, agents enhancing insulin secretion, or insulin-sensitisers (used against diabetes mellitus).

This is important as using more than one medicine at the same time can strengthen or weaken the effect of the medicines.

Targretin With Food and Drink

Targretin should be taken with food (see How to take Targretin). If you regularly consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice, please consult your doctor as these have the potential to alter your body’s response to Targretin therapy.

Pregnancy and Breast-feeding

Targretin may be harmful to a developing foetus. DO NOT use Targretin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor for advice before taking this medicine.

If you are capable of becoming pregnant, you must have a pregnancy test within one week before you start therapy, confirming you are not pregnant. You must use effective contraception (birth control) continuously starting one month before beginning therapy until one month after you stop taking Targretin. It is recommended that two reliable forms of contraception be used together. If you are taking a hormonal contraceptive (for example, birth control pills), you should discuss this with your doctor.

If you are male and your partner is pregnant or capable of becoming pregnant, you must use condoms during sexual intercourse while taking bexarotene and for at least one month after the last dose.

Driving and Using Machines

It is not known whether Targretin has an effect on your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. If you experience dizziness or problems with your vision during therapy, do not drive or operate machinery.

Targretin Contains Sorbitol and Butylated Hydroxyanisole

Targretin contains a small amount of sorbitol (a type of sugar). If you have an intolerance to some sugars, speak to your doctor before taking this medicinal product.

Butylated hydroxyanisole may cause irritation to the mucous membranes, therefore the capsules must be swallowed intact and not chewed.

How to Take Targretin

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

The doctor will prescribe a suitable dose for you.

The recommended dose is generally 4 to 10 capsules to be taken once daily. Take your prescribed number of capsules at the same time each day with a meal. The capsules can be taken immediately before, during or immediately after the course of the meal, if preferred. The capsules should be swallowed whole and not chewed.

How Long You Should Take Targretin

Although some patients have improvement within the first several weeks, most patients require several months or more of treatment to improve.

If You Take More Targretin Than You Should

If you have taken more than the prescribed dose of Targretin, you must contact your doctor.

If You Forget to Take Targretin

If you forget to take one dose, take your daily dose with your next meal on the same day, then take your usual dose as normal, the following day. Do not take a double dose in one day to make up for a forgotten dose the previous day.

If You Stop Taking Targretin

Your doctor should determine how long you should take Targretin, and when treatment may be stopped. Do not stop taking your medication until your doctor advises you to do so.

If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible Side Effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you feel any deterioration in your condition while you are taking Targretin. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the dose or interrupt treatment. Your doctor will advise you on what to do.

The following side effects were reported in patients with CTCL who were treated with the recommended initial dose of capsules.

Very common (can occur in more than 1 in 10 patients treated)

  • Low white blood cell count.
  • Lowering of thyroid hormones level.
  • Elevation of blood fats (triglycerides and cholesterol).
  • Skin reactions (Itching, redness, irritation, peeling).
  • Headache, fatigue, pain.

Common (can occur in up to 1 in 10 patients treated)

  • Low red blood cell count, enlarged lymph nodes, worsening of lymphoma.
  • Thyroid disorder.
  • Elevation of liver enzymes, impaired kidney function, low protein in blood, weight gain.
  • Insomnia, dizziness, reduced skin sensation.
  • Dry eyes, deafness, abnormal sensations of the eye including irritation and heaviness.
  • Swelling of legs and arms.
  • Nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, dry lips, loss of appetite, constipation, excess gas, abnormal liver function tests, vomiting.
  • Dry skin, skin disorder, loss of hair, skin ulcer, acne, skin thickening, skin nodule, increased sweating.
  • Joint aches, bone pain, muscle aches.
  • Chills, abdominal pain, allergic reaction, infection.

Uncommon (can occur in up to 1 in 100 patients treated)

  • Blood disorders, eosinophilia, leukocytosis, lymphocytosis, purpura, elevated and decreased numbers of blood platelets.
  • Overactive thyroid.
  • Elevated bilirubin in the blood, impaired kidney function, gout, decreased HDL cholesterol.
  • Agitation, difficulties with balance, depression, increased skin sensation on touching, abnormal nerve sensations, vertigo.
  • Abnormal vision, blurred vision, inflammation of the eye lids, cataract, inflammation of the white part of the eye, lesion of the cornea of the eye, ear disorder, defect in field of vision.
  • Swelling, bleeding, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, visible vein enlargement, dilation of blood vessels.
  • Gastrointestinal disorder, liver failure, inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Changes in hair, herpes simplex, nail disorder, pustular rash, serous drainage, skin discoloration.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Proteins in urine, abnormal kidney function.
  • Back pain, skin infection, fever, parasitic infection, abnormal laboratory test, disorder of mucous membrane, tumour.

Rare fatal side effects are acute inflammation of the pancreas, bleeding in the head, and liver failure.

Reporting of Side Effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

How to Store Targretin

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the label. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not store above 30 °C. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.

Contents of the Pack and Other Information

What Targretin Contains

Each Targretin capsule contains 75 mg of the active substance bexarotene.

The capsules also contain the other ingredients macrogol, polysorbate, povidone and butylated hydroxyanisole.

The capsule shell consists of gelatin, sorbitol special-glycerine blend (glycerin, sorbitol, sorbitol anhydrides (1,4-sorbitan), mannitol and water), titanium dioxide (E171) and printing ink (SDA 35A alcohol (ethanol & ethyl acetate), propylene glycol (E1520), iron oxide black (E172), polyvinyl acetate phthalate, purified water, isopropyl alcohol, macrogol 400, ammonium hydroxide 28%)

What Targretin Looks Like and Contents of the Pack

Targretin is available as soft capsules for oral use in a white plastic bottle containing 100 capsules.

Marketing Authorisation Holder

Eisai Ltd.

Mosquito Way



AL10 9SN

United Kingdom



Eisai Manufacturing Limited

Mosquito Way



AL10 9SN

United Kingdom

For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder:

Eisai Europe Ltd.
Tél/Tel: + 32 (0)2 502 58 04

Eisai Ltd.
Teл.: + 359 2 810 39 96

Česká republika
Eisai GesmbH organizačni složka
Tel.: + 420 242 485 839

Eisai Ltd.
Tel. +44 (0) 845 676 1400
(Jungtinė Karalystė)

Eisai Europe Ltd.
Tél/Tel: + 32 (0)2 502 58 04

Valeant Pharma Magyarország Kft.
Tel: +36-1-345-5900

Eisai AB
Tlf: + 46 (0) 8 501 01 600

Eisai GmbH
Tel: + 49 (0) 69 66 58 50

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 845 676 1400

Arriani Pharmaceuticals S.A.
Τηλ: +30 210 668 3000

Eisai Farmacéutica, S.A.
Tel: + (34) 91 455 94 55

Eisai SAS
Tél: + (33) 1 47 67 00 05

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 845 676 1400
(Velika Britanija)

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 845 676 1400
(United Kingdom)

Eisai AB
Sími: + 46 (0)8 501 01 600

Eisai S.r.l.
Tel: + 39 02 5181401

Eisai Ltd.
Τηλ: +44 (0) 845 676 1400
(Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο)

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)845 676 1400
(Ir-Renju Unit)

Eisai B.V.
Tél/Tel: + 31 (0) 900 575 3340

Eisai AB
Tlf: + 46 (0) 8 501 01 600

Eisai GesmbH
Tel: + 43 (0) 1 535 1980-0

Valeant Sp. z o.o. sp.j.
Tel: +48 17 865 51 00

Eisai Farmacêutica, Unipessoal Lda
Tel: + 351 214 875 540

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +40 21 301 7469

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 845 676 1400
(Velika Britanija)

Slovenská republika
Eisai GesmbH organizačni složka
Tel.: + 420 242 485 839
(Česká republika)

Eisai AB
Puh/Tel: + 46 (0) 8 501 01 600

Eisai AB
Tel: + 46 (0) 8 501 01 600

Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 845 676 1400

United Kingdom
Eisai Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 845 676 1400

Other Sources of Information

Detailed information on this medicinal product is available on the website of the European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu.