Generically known as acitretin, Soriatane is a form of vitamin A used to treat severe psoriasis. Psoriasis causes scaly and inflamed patches on the skin. Although this medication will not cure psoriasis, it can improve the symptoms of the disease in persons taking it. Roche Holding AG manufactures Soriatane, and it was approved by the FDA in 1997.

Soriatane has been linked to serious side effects. Soriatane’s label now warns of suicide, psychosis and depression. These side effects could lead to serious harm of a patient if the person is not monitored.

Soriatane has also been known to cause birth defects in infants whose mothers took the drug while pregnant. Birth defects that have been linked to Soriatane are so severe that a woman must take two pregnancy tests before starting the drug, along with signing a consent form that acknowledges that the patient cannot get pregnant while on the drug, or for three years after discontinuing the drug. The patient must also use two forms of birth control while taking Soriatane.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Blurred vision, headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden decrease in night vision
  • Depressed mood, aggression, unusual thoughts or behavior, thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Loss of feeling in your hands or feet, trouble moving, pain in your back, joints, muscles, or bones
  • Mouth sores, swollen or bleeding gums
  • High Blood Sugar(increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss)
  • Chest pain or heavy feeling, spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, shortness of breath
  • Sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with speech or balance, numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate
  • Pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Dry eyes, chapped or peeling skin, hair loss
  • Itching, scaling, or sticky feeling on your skin
  • Weak nails, fragile skin
  • Dry mouth, dry or runny nose, nosebleeds
  • Mild headache, muscle tightness
  • Nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling)
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Ringing in your ears
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