What is the role of isotretinoin (13-cis -retinoic acid) in the treatment of acne vulgaris?

Updated: Jan 30, 2020
  • Author: Ginard I Henry, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Isotretinoin (13-cis -retinoic acid) has revolutionized treatment for severe cystic or scarring acne. This compound reduces sebaceous gland size by 50% and function by more than 90%. It inhibits keratinocyte proliferation and permits thinning of the epidermis. During a regimen, serum lipoproteins should be monitored, since as many as 25% of patients may develop hypertriglyceridemia. Isotretinoin is a known teratogen, and adherence to the government controlled iPledge program is necessary to prescribe isotretinoin .


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