Acitretin is prescribed for severe psoriasis that doesn’t respond well to other medications. This medication helps clear the skin and eliminates psoriasis symptoms; it may take several months for the medication to start working effectively.
Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not use this medication. Aciteretin has been linked to serious birth defects; this medication is so toxic to fetuses that women must wait a full three years after discontinuing use of the medication before they can safely conceive. Men whose partners may become pregnant should use contraception while on this medication and for three years following discontinuation of the medication.
It’s especially important for women of childbearing potential to avoid ingested forms of this medication, as they remain in the system longer and make it more likely that a child will develop severe birth defects.