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Drug Intell Clin Pharm. 1983 May;17(5):329-33.

Isotretinoin in severe, recalcitrant cystic acne: a review.


Isotretinoin, an isomer of retinoic acid, recently has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of severe, recalcitrant acne. The most impressive effects include inhibition of sebum production and a reversible decrease in sebaceous gland size. Isotretinoin has proved to be an effective drug; response to therapy has been seen in virtually 100 percent of patients treated. Almost all patients experience reversible cutaneous and mucous-membrane symptoms while on isotretinoin treatment. Other common side effects include conjunctivitis (38 percent) and eye irritation (50 percent). The recommended dosage is 1-2 mg/kg/d for no longer than 16 weeks. Isotretinoin is currently the treatment of choice for severe, recalcitrant acne; however, because of potential side effects associated with retinoids, isotretinoin should be reserved for those patients who are unresponsive to conventional therapy, including topical and systemic antibiotics.

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