Accutane is manufactured by Dragon Pharma in oral tablets containing 20mg of the active substance, Isotretinoin, per tablet. Isotretinoin is a form of Vitamin A called a retinoid which is found in small quantities within the body. In medicine, it is prescribed for the treatment of acne.
Indications and effectiveness
Isotretinoin is indicated for the treatment of severe forms of acne:
- Nodular acne
- Conglobate acne
- Acne at risk of permanent scarring
- Acne which has failed to respond to standard therapies.
The drug works by decreasing the size and sebum production of the sebaceous glands. The mechanism of action of Isotretinoin has been shown to reduce sebum production by causing cell death in sebaceous gland cells, while destroying cutibacterium acnes. Isotretinoin is the only available acne treatment drug that affects all four substantial infectious processes in acne, which distinguishes it from alternative treatments (such as antibiotics) and verifies its effectiveness in severe cases.
Recommendations for use
The therapeutic efficacy of isotretinoin and its side effects are dose-dependent and vary from patient to patient. This dictates the need for individual selection of the dose during treatment. It has been proven that the optimal dosage is 120-150mg per kg of body weight (per course of treatment), so the duration of therapy in specific patients varies depending on the daily dose.
Complete remission of acne is often achieved in 16-24 weeks of treatment. In patients who do not tolerate the recommended dose very well, treatment can be continued in a lower dose, but it can be longer. The second course of treatment with isotretinoin at the same daily and course dose as the first is indicated if there is a clear recurrence. Since improvement may continue up to 8 weeks after withdrawal, a second course should not be prescribed before the end of this period.
Side effects of Acccutane
The most common side effects of Isotretinoin are associated with skin and mucous membranes, which include:
- Cheilitis (inflammation of the lips)
- Dryness of the nasal mucosa
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Dermatitis of the hands
- Dryness of the conjunctiva of the eye
Isotretinoin, like other oral retinoids, is metabolized in the liver and excreted in the bile, so patients with hepatic dysfunction can be expected to be more susceptible to these drugs. Ideally, alcohol should be completely avoided while taking Isotretinoin as it can cause liver inflammation.