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What is Vesanoid (tretinoin)?

Vesanoid is a prescription medication used to treat various cancer such as Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) in adults.

Vesanoid belongs to the drug class, retinoids. These medications are derived from Vitamin A and are typically used to treat skin cancer, aging, and disorders.

What are the Indications for Vesanoid?

Vesanoid is indicated to treat a type of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow called acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). APL makes too many young blood cells that don’t work properly resulting in problems such as feeling overly tired, bleeding easily, and getting frequent infections.

Vesanoid is used with chemotherapy to help the body make more healthy blood cells by helping young blood cells turn into mature ones.

How is Vesanoid used?


Vesanoid should be stored at room temperature between 68° – 77°F(20° – 25°) in a tightly closed container, away from light and moisture.

Keep out of reach of children and pets.


This medication is typically taken two times a day, 12 hours apart, with or without food.


Vesanoid is available in capsule form in the strength of 10mg. The recommended dose is dependent on your body weight.

Side Effects

It’s important to understand that although Vesanoid is FDA-approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.

Before starting, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.

Common Side Effects

Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Vesanoid, side effects may go away.

Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own:

  • Dry skin
  • Peeling or scaling of the skin
  • Redness or itching of the skin
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Serious Side Effects

Severe adverse reactions while using Vesanoid can occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe allergic reaction: severe rash or itching, swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, rapid heartbeat, fainting or dizziness, or problems breathing or swallowing.
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe headache or dizziness
  • Blurred vision or changes in vision
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Infections
  • Fever or chills

The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Warnings & Precautions

Before using Vesanoid, tell your doctor or pharmacist:

  • If you are allergic to any medications such as Vesanoid
  • If you have a history of angioedema or have a family history of angioedema
  • If you have kidney problems
  • If you have liver problems
  • If you are pregnant or expect to become pregnant
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Rapidly evolving leukocytosis

Taking Vesanoid can lead to rapidly evolving leukocytosis which is when the number of white blood cells in the body increases quickly. This can cause symptoms like fever, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. It’s important to tell the doctor if these symptoms occur, as they may need to adjust the dosage of the medication or stop treatment temporarily to prevent complications.

Retinoic acid-APL syndrome

Taking Vesanoid can cause a rare side effect called retinoic acid-APL syndrome. This happens when the medicine starts working too well and causes a sudden increase in the number of immature blood cells. This can lead to symptoms like fever, breathing problems, and swelling. If this happens, it’s important to let the doctor know right away so they can adjust the treatment.

Limit sun exposure

Taking Vesanoid may make you more prone to sunburn. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays, such as tanning beds, while taking Vesanoid to prevent sun damage.

Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant

Using Vesanoid during pregnancy can severely harm your unborn child and may result in death. It is recommended to use effective contraceptives while taking Vesanoid. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Vesanoid, contact your doctor immediately.


It is not known if Vesanoid passes into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding while taking Vesanoid, talk to your doctor for the best course of action before taking.

Interactions & Contraindications

Before using Vesanoid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.

Anti-fungal medications

Taking Vesanoid with anti-fungal medications such as fluconazole and ketoconazole can increase the serious side effects of Vesanoid. Consult with your doctor to determine if a change of therapy is needed.

Blood thinners

Taking Vesanoid with blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising. Consult with your doctor to determine if a change of therapy is needed.


Taking Vesanoid with Accutane or isotretinoin can increase the risk of serious side effects, such as increased pressure inside the skull. Consult with your doctor to determine if a change of therapy is needed.

The active ingredient in Vesanoid is tretinoin.

Vesanoid may contain the following inactive ingredients: yellow beeswax, hydrogenated soya oil, partially hydrogenated soya oil, soya oil, gelatin, glycerol, Karion 83, titanium dioxide, iron oxide yellow and iron oxide red.

Vesanoid is the brand name for the drug tretinoin, which is a medication used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

Vesanoid works by causing the immature blood cells in APL to mature into normal blood cells, which helps to restore the normal function of the bone marrow.

Vesanoid is taken orally, usually as a capsule, with or without food.

The recommended dosage of Vesanoid varies depending on the individual’s age, weight, and the severity of the APL.

The most common side effects of Vesanoid include headache, fever, fatigue, bone pain, and skin rash. More serious side effects can also occur, such as liver damage, vision changes, and an increase in blood triglycerides.

Vesanoid can start to work within a few days to a few weeks, depending on the individual’s response to the medication.

The length of Vesanoid treatment depends on the individual’s response to the medication and the severity of the APL. Treatment can last several months to a year or longer.

Yes, Vesanoid is often used in combination with other drugs to treat APL, such as chemotherapy or arsenic trioxide.

Vesanoid is not recommended for use during pregnancy as it can cause harm to the developing fetus. Women of childbearing age should use effective contraception while taking  this medication.

Vesanoid is not recommended for use while breastfeeding as it can pass into breast milk and harm the nursing infant.

Vesanoid can be used to treat APL in children, but the dosage is usually adjusted based on the child’s weight and age.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.

If you overdose, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include headache, nausea, vomiting, and confusion.

Yes, it can interact with other medications, including antibiotics, antifungals, and blood thinners. It is important to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking before starting.

Yes, some people may be allergic to Vesanoid and may experience symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Vesanoid is only approved for use in the treatment of APL and is not recommended for other medical conditions.

No, Vesanoid is a prescription medication and can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription.

Vesanoid can be used for long-term treatment in individuals with APL, but the length of treatment is determined by the individual’s response to the medication and the severity of the APL.

Yes, you can purchase Vesanoid online. Buying medications online is convenient and often less expensive than purchasing at your local pharmacy.