Retinoid Treatments for Acne

Isotretinoin For Treatment of Acne

This article was Medically reviewed by

Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid medication reserved for severe cystic acne or for cystic acne that does not respond to other treatments. It works by reducing oil secretion, plugging of the hair follicles and gland as well as reducing the growth of P. acnes. Some of the common brand names include includes Accutane, Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan and Zenatane.
When one is suffering from severe cystic acne, isotretinoin has been documented as being the most effective treatment option. This particular medication is the only one which is known to be effective in treating and managing the various underlying causes of cystic acne.
Oral isotretinoin causes shrinking in the overall size of the oil glands which are the anatomical origin site for the development of acne. In the absence of functional at the as well as active, plump oil glands, the outbreaks of acne have been found to significantly reduce.
Isotretinoin is used in resolving the most severe cases of acne which haven’t cleared up with other treatment options. The downside is that this medication has certain side effects.
A few research studies have linked this medication to a higher risk of depression, cause of suicidal tendencies as well as incidents of inflammatory bowel disorders. If your doctor prescribes this medication, be sure to have a discussion on this medicine’s potential risks and side effects. Some of the other, less severe side effects of this medication include skin or lips dryness, pain within the joints or muscles, heightened amounts of cholesterol and/or triglycerides and, in some rare cases, there is even hair loss. However, for a majority of persons using these medications, the side effects are usually tolerable and really not a cause for discontinuing treatment of severe acne. People taking this medication usually need to have monthly blood tests for monitoring their lipids, blood cell counts, and liver function.

Isotretinoin and the risk of birth defects

Isotretinoin has been implicated as the causative agent of serious birth defects and as such can NEVER be used by a pregnant female or any female not on contraceptive or nursing mothers.
Females of childbearing age are required to take some form of birth control before, during, and for at least a year following the treatment of acne with isotretinoin. Most doctors and many of the guidelines recommend that there is a need for a stricter routine of testing for cholesterol and pregnancy during the use of oral isotretinoin in the treatment of acne, and also during the follow-up period. As a result, the use of oral isotretinoin formulations is only chosen as an option when the patient has very severe types of acne which have been shown to have no response at all to other more safe treatment options.
Estimated costs for commonly available products containing oral isotretinoin: Approximate cost of 30 capsules of isotretinoin: $140 to $490 [GoodRx_Isotretinoin].

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