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April 1988

Acitretin in the Symptomatic Therapy for Severe Recessive X-linked Ichthyosis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Zurich (Drs Bruckner-Tuderman, Sigg, and Gilardi), and the Department of Clinical Research-Dermatology, Hoffmann-La Roche & Co Ltd, Basel, Switzerland (Dr Geiger).

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(4):529-532. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670040031017

• Eight men with severe recessive x-linked ichthyosis were treated with acitretin, the main metabolite of etretinate, during four months. All of the patients showed marked clinical improvement of scaling during therapy. Hypervitaminosis A-type adverse reactions were observed in all patients. Although the overall tolerance was good, therapy was interrupted in one atopic patient because of pruritus. There were no undesirable laboratory changes in values. Thirty-five milligrams of acitretin daily provided the best efficacy, with minimal side effects. The beneficial effect of this retinoid lasted between four and six weeks after therapy was stopped. These results suggest that acitretin is a useful agent in the symptomatic therapy of severe recessive x-linked ichthyosis resistant to topical therapeutic modalities. Good results with this agent can be achieved with interval therapy adjusted to seasonal variations of the skin symptoms.

(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:529-532)