For the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne
Isotretinoin, a retinoid, is indicated in the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Nodules are inflammatory lesions with a diameter of 5 mm or greater. The nodules may become suppurative or hemorrhagic. "Severe," by definition, means "many" as opposed to "few or several" nodules. Clinical improvement in nodular acne patients occurs in association with a reduction in sebum secretion. The decrease in sebum secretion is temporary and is related to the dose and duration of treatment with Accutane, and reflects a reduction in sebaceous gland size and an inhibition of sebaceous gland differentiation.
Mode of Action:
Isotretinoin noticeably reduces the production of sebum and shrinks the sebaceous glands. It stabilises keratinization and prevents comedones from forming. It also reduces inflammation in moderate-severe inflammatory acne. The exact mechanism of action is unknown, however it is known that it alters DNA transcription.
Isotretinoin is teratogenic. It also causes mucocutaneous side effects suck as cheilitis, dry skin, and dry eyes.
Berard A, Azoulay L, Koren G, Blais L, Perreault S, Oraichi D: Isotretinoin, pregnancies, abortions and birth defects: a population-based perspective. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Feb;63(2):196-205. Pubmed Holmes SC, Bankowska U, Mackie RM: The prescription of isotretinoin to women: is every precaution taken? Br J Dermatol. 1998 Mar;138(3):450-5. Pubmed Amichai B, Shemer A, Grunwald MH: Low-dose isotretinoin in the treatment of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Apr;54(4):644-6. Pubmed Seukeran DC, Cunliffe WJ: Acne vulgaris in the elderly: the response to low-dose isotretinoin. Br J Dermatol. 1998 Jul;139(1):99-101. Pubmed Tirado Sanchez A, Leon Dorantes G: [Erectile dysfunction during isotretinoin therapy] Actas Urol Esp. 2005 Nov-Dec;29(10):974-6. Pubmed
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