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OralChemoEdSheets.com, Patient + Healthcare Providers Resource

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Generic

Bexarotene

(bek-SAYR-uh-teen)

Brand

Targretin®

(tar-GREH-tin)

Bexarotene (Targretin®) is used to treat people with cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.

 
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Page 1 BEXAROTENE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Name of your medication Generic name bexarotene (bek SAYR uh teen) Brand name Targretin® (tar GREH tin) Approved uses Bexarotene is used to treat people with cutaneous T cell lymphomas. Dose and schedule Taking bexarotene as instructed is important to allow your treatment to be as effective as possible, so here are some key points to remember. Your dose may vary, but the usual dose of bexarotene is 300 milligrams (300 mg) to 750 milligrams (750 mg) to be taken by mouth at a scheduled time once daily. Bexarotene should be taken with food with a full glass of water and at the same time each day. Bexarotene should be taken whole and not crushed, cut, or dissolved. If you are unable to swallow bexarotene, talk to your care provider or pharmacist for possible options. If you miss a dose of bexarotene, do not take an extra dose or two doses at one time. Simply take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Be sure to write down if you miss a dose and let your care provider know about any missed doses. Storage and handling Handle bexarotene with care. Just like when chemotherapy is given into the vein, this drug can be toxic, and exposure of the drug to others should be limited. Store bexarotene at 36°F in a dry location away from light. Keep bexarotene out of reach of children and pets. Leave bexarotene in the provided packaging until it is ready to be taken. Whenever possible, you should give bexarotene to yourself and follow the steps below. If a family member, friend, or caregiver needs to give the bexarotene to you, they also need to follow these steps: 1. Wash hands with soap and water. 2. Put on gloves to avoid touching the medication. (Gloves are not necessary if you give the drug to yourself.) 3. Gently transfer the bexarotene from its package to a small medicine or other disposable cup. 4. Administer the medicine immediately by mouth with water. 5. Remove gloves and do not use them for anything else. 6. Throw gloves and medicine cup in household trash. 7. Wash hands with soap and water. BEXAROTENE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 2 If a daily pill box or pill reminder is used, a separate one should be used for bexarotene. Do not mix other medications into the box with bexarotene. The person filling the box or reminder should wear gloves. (Gloves are not necessary if you are filling the box or reminder.) When empty, the box or reminder should be washed with soap and water before refilling. Be sure to wash hands with soap and water after the task is complete, whether or not gloves are worn. If you have any unused bexarotene, do not throw it in the trash and do not flush it down the sink or toilet. Talk to your care provider or pharmacist about proper disposal of bexarotene. If you are traveling, put your bexarotene in a sealed plastic bag. Ask your pharmacist if any additional travel precautions are needed. Handling body fluids and waste Since bexarotene remains in your body for several days after it is taken, some of the drug may be present in urine, stool, sweat, or vomit. Once you have started to take bexarotene, it is important to follow the instructions below every day for as long as your treatment lasts. This is to keep yourself, loved ones, and the environment as safe as possible. Pregnant women should avoid touching anything that may be soiled with body fluids from the patient. Toilet and septic systems You may use the same toilet, septic tank, and/or sewer that you usually use. If you have a low flow toilet, close the lid and flush twice to ensure all waste has been discarded. If the toilet or toilet seat becomes soiled with urine, stool, or vomit, clean the surfaces before other people use the toilet. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet. If you need a bedpan, be sure your caregiver knows to wear gloves to assist with cleanup and to wash the bedpan with soap and water every day. If you do not have good control of bladder or bowels, use a disposable pad with a plastic back, a diaper, or a sheet to absorb body waste. Wash any skin that has been exposed to body waste or bexarotene with soap and water. Linens or clothing that are soiled with body fluids or body waste should be washed separately from other linens and clothing. If you do not have a washer, place the soiled linens in a plastic bag until they can be washed. Wash hands with soap and water after touching linens or clothing that may be soiled with body fluids. Drug and food interactions Bexarotene has many drug interactions. Please inform your care providers of all prescription medications, over thecounter medications, vitamins, and herbal products. Avoid taking concurrent vitamin A without approval. Avoid concurrent gemfibrozil (Lopid®) with bexarotene. Grapefruit or grapefruit juice may interact with bexarotene; avoid eating or drinking these during treatment with bexarotene. Talk with your care provider or pharmacist before taking new medications or supplements, or receiving any vaccines. BEXAROTENE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 3 Side Effects of Bexarotene The common side effects that have been known to happen in more than 30% of patients taking bexarotene are listed in the left side of this table. You MAY NOT experience these side effects. Options to help manage any side effects that do occur are included on the right side of this table. These should be discussed with your care provider. If you experience any side effect you cannot manage or that is not listed here, contact your care provider. Possible Side Effect Management Changes in electrolytes and other laboratory values High cholesterol High triglycerides Low thyroid hormone levels Changes in some laboratory values may occur and will be monitored by a simple blood test. You may not feel any symptoms if the changes are mild, and they usually are not a sign of a serious problem. More severe changes may occur, which can be a sign of a serious problem. Notify your care provider if you have any of the following: Shortness of breath Chest discomfort Weakness or fatigue New aches and pains Headaches Dizziness Swelling of your legs or feet Red or brown colored urine Constipation Dry hair Slow heart rate Unexplained weight gain Headache Ask your provider what you may use to help with this discomfort. Contact your provider right away if your headache has any of the following characteristics: Follows a head injury Is severe or starts suddenly Does not go away after three days Is associated with vomiting, visual disturbance, neck stiffness, drowsiness, confusion, rash, weakness in an arm or leg, or numbness, or is made worse by coughing or lowering the head Continued on the next page BEXAROTENE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 4 Possible Side Effect Management Decreased white blood cells (WBCs) and increased risk for infection Your WBCs should be monitored by a simple blood test. When your WBCs are low, you are at a greater risk of having an infection. Take the following precautions to protect yourself from infection. Wash your hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. Avoid crowds and people with fevers, flu, or other infection. Bathe regularly to keep good personal hygiene. Contact your care provider if you experience any signs or symptoms of an infection: Fever (temperature more than 100.4°F or 38°C) Chills Sore throat Burning with urination Unusual tiredness A sore that becomes red, is draining, or does not heal Check with your care provider before taking any medicine for a fever or chills. Fatigue You may be more tired than usual or have less energy. Stay as active as possible, but know it is okay to rest as needed. Try to do some activity every day. Plan your activities, and do them at a time of day when you feel a bit more energetic. Avoid operating heavy machinery if you feel too tired. Diarrhea (loose and/ or urgent bowel movements) Monitor how many bowel movements you have each day. Drink 8–10 glasses of water or fluid each day unless your care provider has instructed you to limit your fluid intake. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals. Eat bland, low fiber foods, such as bananas, applesauce, potatoes, chicken, rice, and toast. Avoid high fiber foods, such as raw vegetables, raw fruits, and whole grains. Avoid foods that cause gas, such as broccoli and beans. Avoid lactose containing foods, such as yogurt and milk. Avoid spicy, fried, and greasy foods. Contact your provider if either of the following occurs: The number of bowel movements you have in a day increases by four or more. You feel dizzy or lightheaded. Your care provider may recommend an over the counter medication called loperamide (Imodium®) to help with your diarrhea, but talk to your care provider before starting this medication. BEXAROTENE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 5 Serious side effects Bexarotene may be harmful to your pancreas. Speak to your care provider to know when you need to have laboratory tests done to monitor your pancreas. Seek medical attention if you have severe abdominal pain or tenderness, fever, or vomiting. Bexarotene may cause liver problems. Contact your care provider if you notice yellowing of the skin or whites of your eyes, dark or brown urine, or unusual bleeding or bruising. This medication may cause vision changes, such as cataracts. Report any changes in eyesight to your care provider. If you experience ANY uncontrolled side effect, call your physician or healthcare center immediately: (INSTITUTIONAL CONTACT INFO) Pregnancy, sexual activity, and contraception Women must not become pregnant and men should not get a partner pregnant while taking bexarotene. Female patients with reproductive potential must use effective contraception for one month prior to the initiation of therapy, during therapy, and for at least one month following discontinuation of therapy. In addition, two reliable forms of contraception should be used simultaneously, one of which should be non hormonal. Male patients with sexual partners who are pregnant, possibly pregnant, or who could become pregnant must use condoms during sexual intercourse while taking bexarotene and for at least one month after the last dose of the drug. Do not breastfeed while taking bexarotene and for one month after the last dose of bexarotene. Please inform your care provider if you become pregnant. You should stop taking bexarotene immediately if you become pregnant. It is safe to hug and kiss. Special precautions may be needed for sexual activity while on oral chemotherapy, and you are encouraged to ask your care provider. Obtaining medication Talk with your care provider about the process for obtaining your bexarotene. (PHARMACY OR SPECIALTY PHARMACY CONTACT INFO) Additional resources Product website: http://targretin.com Product prescribing information: www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda docs/label/2011/021055s006lbl.pdf Product resources: http://targretin.com/coupon eligibility Updated – August 9, 2018 BEXAROTENE ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Page 6 Additional instructions Important notice: The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA), National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Inc. (NCODA), and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) have collaborated in gathering information for and developing this patient education guide. This guide represents a brief summary of the medication derived from information provided by the drug manufacturer and other resources. This guide does not cover all existing information related to the possible uses, directions, doses, precautions, warnings, interactions, adverse effects, or risks associated with this medication and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Provision of this guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of this medication by ACCC, HOPA, NCODA, or ONS, who assume no liability for and cannot ensure the accuracy of the information presented. The collaborators are not making any representations with respect to the medications whatsoever, and any and all decisions, with respect to such medications, are at the sole risk of the individual consuming the medication. All decisions related to taking this medication should be made with the guidance and under the direction of a qualified healthcare professional. Permission: Oral Chemotherapy Education (OCE) sheets are provided as a free educational resource for patients with cancer in need of concise, easy to understand information about oral cancer drugs. Healthcare providers are permitted to copy and distribute the sheets to patients as well as direct patients to the OCE website for information. However, commercial reproduction or reuse, as well as rebranding or reposting of any type, are strictly prohibited without permission of the copyright holder. Please email permission requests and licensing inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Copyright © 2019 by Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. All rights reserved.

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