Etretinate (Tegison, Hoffmann-LaRoche Co, Nutley, NJ) has not slipped unnoticed into the therapeutic armamentarium of dermatology. Numerous studies from Europe and an extensive promotion by the manufacturer of the agent have ensured that we are all aware that there is a new treatment for psoriasis. However, regardless of the brouhaha accompanying the release of this agent, if dermatologists or their patients expect it to be the panacea for the "Heartbreak of Psoriasis," they are likely to be disappointed. The limited effectiveness of etretinate therapy in the treatment of plaque-type psoriasis vulgaris, the short-term side effects, and its yet-undefined long-term side effects are going to combine to limit its usefulness. Despite these limitations, etretinate treatment will be helpful in the management of patients with psoriasis and related disorders, occasionally as a monotherapy and perhaps more often as an adjunctive therapy with ultraviolet radiation.
ETRETINATE USED AS A MONOTHERAPY
The approved indications
Morison WL. Etretinate and Psoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(7):879-881. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660310047010