Accutane is an effective medicine for the treatment of acne, which is very popular all over the world. The drug was developed by Roche, which is one of the world’s current leading companies in the field of pharmaceuticals.
Indications for the use of Accutane are:
- Heavy forms of nodular and cystic acne.
- Acne that does not respond to treatment with other types of therapy.
Important benefits of Accutane include its ability to reduce the size of the sebaceous glands, rapidly lower sebum excretion and retain it at a low level for a long time, even after the drug is discontinued.
The active component of Accutane is the bioactive form of vitamin A – Isotretinoin. The action mechanism of Accutane is associated with the impact over retinoid receptors. Thanks to this effect:
- The formation of sebum reduces.
- Hyperkeratosis is eliminated (pathological proliferation of the horny layer).
- Keratinocyte differentiation in the hair follicle normalizes.
The medication is producedin the form of oral capsules. Each Accutane capsule can contain:
- 10 mg of Isotretinoin.
- 20 mg of Isotretinoin.
- 40 mg of Isotretinoin.
Accutane dose is selected individually, with the account take of the intensity and severity of acne, as well as its localization. Typically, the daily dose of Accutane is calculated based on the patient’s body weight. The disease may worsen at the beginning of treatment.
Treatment of acne should begin with a range of 0.5 to 1.0 mg of Accutane per kg of body weight. In severe forms of acne, as well as in trunk acne, patients may be given higher daily doses of up to 2.0 mg/kg.
The daily dose of the drug is divided into two doses and taken with meals. Duration of the treatment is 15 to 20 weeks.
To avoid hypervitaminosis A, Accutane is not recommended to be taken concomitantly with retinoids (Tretinoin, Retinol, Adapalene, and Tazarotene).
Tetracycline-containing antibiotics and systemic corticosteroids decrease the effectiveness of Accutane and increase the risk of increased intracranial pressure.
Simultaneous administration of Accutane with photosensitizing agents (such as thiazide diuretics, sulfonamides) increases the risk of sunburn.
Most Accutane side effects are dose-dependent. Usually, after the dose adjustment or after the drug has been discontinued, the undesirable effects pass, yet some may persist after the treatment is discontinued.
- From the skin: allergic reactions, itching, peeling of the palms and soles of the skin, photosensitization.
- From the gastrointestinal tract: diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, dry mouth, gum disease, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
- From the central nervous system: headache, increased intracranial pressure, depression, fatigue.
- From the cardiovascular system: heart palpitations, tachycardia.
Accutane refers to drugs with strong teratogenic effects. For this reason, it is recommended that women of reproductive age continuously use effective contraceptives during therapy and within a month after it’s end.
Since Accutane has a high lipophilicity, it is likely that the drug can penetrate into breast milk. Because of possible side effects, the use of the drug during lactation should be canceled or the child should be transferred to artificial feeding.
When Accutane is used in patients with diabetes mellitus, obesity or metabolic disorders,they may need more frequent laboratory monitoring of lipid levels and blood glucose concentrations.
Particular care should be taken when driving vehicles, since Accutane can cause a decrease in the intensity of twilight vision in some patients.