Why Are There Side Effects With Novatretin ?

All medicines have side effects. With Novatretin the side effects are closely linked to Novatretin actually working. The side effects relate to its effect on the skin condition, as it reduces scaling and abnormal overgrowth of skin cells. If you are experiencing side effects, tell your doctor about the side effects you are experiencing; the dose of Novatretin may need to be adjusted but this will depend on how well it is working on your condition. The side effects of Novatretin can range from mild to severe. Most of the side effects can be kept under control.

Who Will Get Side Effects ?

Everyone! On the bright side, they can be kept under control with good skin care. Some advice on how to control the side effects that happen while you are using Novatretin can be found in the Skin Care section of this booklet. The intensity of the side effects will vary from patient to patient. Most of the common side effects are not very bad. It is important for you to be aware of the side effects that may occur while you are taking Novatretin. It is also important for you to remember that you will not get all of the side effects mentioned in this section; you may only get one or two mild side effects. If you get side effects while taking Novatretin you may find that they wear off with time.

What Are the Common Side Effects ?

You may start to get some side effects with Novatretin before your condition starts to clear.
You may also notice your condition starts to get worse at first. If this continues for more than 7 to 10 days, let your doctor know. The dose may need adjusting and/or treatments may be necessary.

Dryness of the skin is the most common side effect with Novatretin. Novatretin may dry up some of the oil in your skin. You may find that your skin will become softer and more fragile.
Some skin loss on palms and soles of the feet may occur. Your face may look redder than usual and your skin may start to peel. Usually any discomfort will settle with the use of a moisturizer but it may be needed several times daily. You may find that your lips become dry and cracked.

While you are taking Novatretin you will find that your skin is more sensitive to the sun. You will need to take extra care to avoid sunburn by wearing covering clothing and using sunscreens.

It is important to look after your skin, the instructions in the Skin Care section of this booklet will help you keep the side effects under control. A less common side effect of Novatretin treatment is drying of the inside of the nose and dry eyes. Drying of the nose can be uncomfortable and can lead to nose bleeds. There are ways to prevent and manage this. These are explained in the Skin Care section of this booklet. Dry eyes can be a problem for people who wear contact lenses or people who work in air conditioned areas. You may find that you need to use eye-drops to keep your eyes moist. You may also find that you cannot wear your contact lenses for as long as you did before starting on Novatretin.

Some people can suffer from some hair loss. Hair loss is usually gradual. Reducing the dose or stopping the medicine usually prevents further hair loss and hair should then begin to regrow as normal.

What Are the Other Side Effects ?

Most patients will not experience the side effects listed in this section, these side effects are not very common but can be serious. The side effects seen with Novatretin treatment should disappear soon after you have stopped taking Novatretin. There have been reports of people taking Novatretin finding that their joints and muscles feel tender and stiff. This can be a problem if you are intending to do a lot of heavy exercise while taking Novatretin. It is a good idea to discuss this with your doctor.

Other serious but rarely experienced side effects of Novatretin include skin infections especially around fingernails and toenails, bleeding and inflammation of the gums, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, weight loss, diarrhoea and an abnormal menstrual cycle. You should immediately tell your doctor if you feel that the medication is making you unhappy or depressed.

It is important to remember that the side effects seen with Novatretin treatment are reversible.
They should disappear soon after you have stopped taking Novatretin.

The only side effect that is not reversible are the birth defects that can be caused if you become pregnant while taking Novatretin. There is detailed information about how and why you MUST prevent pregnancy while taking Novatretin in the Contraception section of this booklet.

What Is Important For Me To Tell My Doctor ?

It is important for you to make sure that you tell your doctor:

  • If you think you might be pregnant or you need contraceptive advice.
  • If you can’t tolerate the side effects while taking Novatretin. Your dose of Novatretin may need to be changed.
  • If you get any of the serious less common side effects mentioned in the section: ‘What Are the Other Side Effects?’

When Will the Side Effects Go Away ?

Side effects will reduce when your dose of Novatretin is lowered and should go away when you stop taking Novatretin.

Where Can I Get More Help and Information ?

If you have any questions about the side effects that you have, or will get while you are on Novatretin, you can talk to your doctor or call Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd (the people who make Novatretin).

For even more information on your condition visit our website at www.novatretin.co.nz or the dermatological website www.dermnet.org.nz