Isotretinoin is a medication used for the treatment of severe acne. It is sometimes used in prevention of certain skin cancers. It is a retinoid, meaning it derives from vitamin A and is found in small quantities naturally in the body. Isotretinoin binds to and activates nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RAR), thereby regulating cell proliferation and differentiation.
This agent also exhibits immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory responses and inhibits ornithine decarboxylase, thereby decreasing polyamine synthesis and keratinization.
Isotretinoin is used to treat severe nodular acne that has not responded to other treatments, including antibiotics.
Isotretinoin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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.
Associated Conditions: Mycosis Fungoides (MF), Neuroblastomas, Sezary Syndrome, Refractory Acne vulgaris, Severe, recalcitrant Acne conglobata.
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.
Route of elimination: Isotretinoin and its metabolites are further metabolized into conjugates, which are then excreted in urine and feces. The metabolites of isotretinoin and any conjugates are ultimately excreted in the feces and urine in relatively equal amounts (total of 65% to 83%).
Half life: 17-50 hours
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.Some medical conditions may interact with Isotretinoin.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.
Common side effects may include: dryness of your skin, lips, eyes, or nose (you may have nosebleeds).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.