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    Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a potentially curable malignancy with 4-year overall survival rates >90%. Early complications from the disease or its treatment may result in a loss of oral access and require alternative administration of medications. Tretinoin has been the backbone of APL therapy since the late 1990s and is only available as a liquid filled capsule. Two patients with high-risk APL were unable to safely swallow tretinoin capsules due to complications of their disease. We prepared a tretinoin slurry using tretinoin 10 mg capsules, sterile water, and mineral oil at a ratio of 1 capsule to 2.75 mL sterile water to 1.25 mL mineral oil. This was successfully administered to both patients and no doses of tretinoin slurry were missed by either patient. In the patient who has long-term follow up available, a complete remission was achieved. Due to tretinoin's known teratogenicity, this capsule should not be crushed, cut, or open, which limits its use in patients without oral access. Alternative routes of administration, such as via a nasogastric tube or sublingually, have not been safe and effective. By preparing a tretinoin slurry in our hazardous extemporaneous compounding area, we were able to safely and effectively prepare a tretinoin slurry that was successfully administered to two patients. This alternative preparation did not alter long-term outcomes and represents a viable option for patients who do not have oral access.


    Daniel J Przybylski, Jason R Jared, Michael J Fallon. Extemporaneous compounding and administration of tretinoin slurry for acute promyelocytic leukemia. Journal of oncology pharmacy practice : official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners. 2021 Oct;27(7):1779-1783

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    PMID: 33499747

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