Acitretin (Soriatane®) is an aromatic retinoid approved for use to treat severe psoriasis for both initial and maintenance therapy. Since it influences epidermal proliferation and keratinization, it is also used to treat other dermatologic conditions.

It is approved in the US and Canada to treat severe psoriasis, but is only approved in Canada to treat other disorders of keratinization. Acitretin is teratogenic, and great care must be taken in evaluating the benefits if using it to treat women of reproductive age.

  • Often used in combination with other therapy
  • Has a good safety profile compared to other systemic drugs used for psoriasis, making it a popular choice for maintenance treatment
  • May enhance and prolong the benefits of the new biological immunomodulators when used in combination therapy
  • Topical vitamin D or UVB and PUVA can be added to acitretin to improve efficacy if the patient’s condition is deteriorating