Is ReTrieve safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of topical ReTrieve use during pregnancy. Physicians must weigh the potential risks and benefits before prescribing ReTrieve during pregnancy.
It is unknown whether ReTrieve is secreted into breast milk. It also is unknown if topically applied ReTrieve accumulates to an extent sufficient to be of concern in the infant. Nonetheless, since oral ReTrieve is not recommended during lactation, it probably is prudent to avoid nursing during treatment with topical ReTrieve.
Why is this medication prescribed?
ReTrieve (Altreno, Atralin, Avita, Retin-A) is used to treat acne. ReTrieve is also used to reduce fine wrinkles (Refissa and Renova) and to improve spotty discoloration (Renova) and rough feeling skin (Renova) when used along with other skin care and sunlight avoidance programs. ReTrieve is in a class of medications called retinoids. It works by promoting peeling of affected skin areas and unclogging pores.
Safety and effectiveness in a geriatric population have not been established. Clinical studies of ReTrieve did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.
Pregnancy Category C.
Oral ReTrieve has been shown to be teratogenic in rats, mice, hamsters, and subhuman primates. It was teratogenic and fetotoxic in Wistar rats when given orally or topically in doses greater than 1 mg/kg/day (8 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area). However, variations in teratogenic doses among various strains of rats have been reported. In the cynomolgus monkey, which metabolically is closer to humans for ReTrieve than the other species examined, fetal malformations were reported at doses of 10 mg/kg/day or greater, but none were observed at 5 mg/kg/day (83 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area), although increased skeletal variations were observed at all doses. A dose-related increase in embryolethality and abortion was reported. Similar results have also been reported in pigtail macaques.
Topical ReTrieve in animal teratogenicity tests has generated equivocal results. There is evidence for teratogenicity (shortened or kinked tail) of topical ReTrieve in Wistar rats at doses greater than 1 mg/kg/day (8 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area). Anomalies (humerus: short 13%, bent 6%, os parietal incompletely ossified 14%) have also been reported when 10 mg/kg/day was topically applied.
There are other reports in New Zealand White rabbits administered doses of greater than 0.2 mg/kg/day (3.3 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area) of an increased incidence of domed head and hydrocephaly, typical of retinoid-induced fetal malformations in this species.
In contrast, several well-controlled animal studies have shown that dermally applied ReTrieve may be fetotoxic, but not overly teratogenic in rats and rabbits at doses of 1.0 and 0.5 mg/kg/day, respectively (8 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area in both species).
With widespread use of any drug, a small number of birth defect reports associated temporally with the administration of the drug would be expected by chance alone. Thirty human cases of temporally associated congenital malformations have been reported during two decades of clinical use of ReTrieve. Although no definite pattern of teratogenicity and no causal association has been established from these cases, five of the reports describe the rare birth defect category holoprosencephaly (defects associated with incomplete midline development of the forebrain). The significance of these spontaneous reports in terms of risk to the fetus is not known.
Topical ReTrieve has been shown to be fetotoxic in rabbits when administered 0.5 mg/kg/day (8 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area). Oral ReTrieve has been shown to be fetotoxic, resulting in skeletal variations and increased intrauterine death in rats when administered 2.5 mg/kg/day (20 times the maximum human systemic dose adjusted for total body surface area).
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. ReTrieve should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
What are the side effects of ReTrieve?
Following the application of ReTrieve to the skin, there often is local inflammation. This reaction disappears when treatment is stopped. Mild stinging or a sensation of warmth also can occur when applying ReTrieve.
The common side effects of ReTrieve are:
Other side effects of ReTrieve include:
- Increased sun sensitivity
- Darkening or lightening of the skin
- Initial acne flare-up
If you are to apply any form of ReTrieve, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands and affected skin area thoroughly with mild, bland soap (not medicated or abrasive soap or soap that dries the skin) and water. To be sure that your skin is thoroughly dry, wait 20 to 30 minutes before applying ReTrieve.
- Use clean fingertips to apply the medication.
- Use enough medication to cover the affected area with a thin layer.
Apply the medication to the affected skin area only. Do not let ReTrieve get into your eyes, ears, mouth, corners along your nose, or vaginal area. Do not apply on areas of sunburn.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Generic Name: ReTrieve Cream (TRET i noyn)Brand Name: Avita, Retin-A
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 15, 2019.