Pharmaceutisch Weekblad

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 33–37 | Cite as

Acitretin (Neotigason®)

A review of pharmacokinetics and teratogenicity and hypothesis on metabolic pathways
  • M. L. Bouvy
  • M. C. J. M. Sturkenboom
  • M. C. Cornel
  • L. T. W. De Jong-Van den Berg
  • B. H. C. Stricker
  • H. Wesseling


Acitretin was introduced as a replacement for etretinate, the ethyl ester of acitretin. Acitretin is eliminated at a much faster rate than etretinate. Although both drugs are teratogens, the replacement was important especially as it allowed for a much shorter post-medication period in which pregnancy should be precluded. Recent findings showed the presence of etretinate in the plasma of acitretin-treated patients. This article gives a review of known metabolic pathways of the retinoids and tries to elucidate the possible conversion of acitretin into etretinate after acitretin ingestion.


Acitretin Etretinate Metabolism Pharmacokinetics Retinoids Teratogens 


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Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for Advancement of Pharmacy 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. Bouvy
    • 1
  • M. C. J. M. Sturkenboom
    • 1
  • M. C. Cornel
    • 2
  • L. T. W. De Jong-Van den Berg
    • 1
  • B. H. C. Stricker
    • 3
  • H. Wesseling
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, Section Social PharmacyUniversity Centre for PharmacyAW Groningenthe Netherlands
  2. 2.EUROCAT - Registration of congenital anomalies, Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity of GroningenAW Groningenthe Netherlands
  3. 3.Netherlands Centre for Monitoring of Adverse Reactions to DrugsHK Rijswijkthe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of Groningenthe Netherlands

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