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Accutane (Isotretinoin)

Description

Accutane is the brand name for Isotretinoin which is a retinoid. This is used in the treatment of nodular acne. This drug is sold in 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg strengths as soft gelatin capsules. The colors of the capsules are light pink for the 10 mg strength, maroon for 20 mg strength, and yellow for 40 mg strength. These are usually available in boxes of 100 with each box having 10 strips of 10 tablets each. These are for oral administration only. Lesions of acne that are more than 5 mm in diameter are treated with the use of Accutane. This drug contains hydrogenated vegetable oil, soybean oil, beeswax, edetate disodium, butylated hydroxyanisole, and hydrogenated soybean oil. Conventional therapy is used for the treatment of acne and for those patients who do not respond properly to the conventional therapy the use of Accutane would be beneficial.

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Recommendations

In treating nodular acne a therapy for about 15 to 20 weeks is given. At this duration the acne would be cured completely. Usually there is no need for a second course of therapy. If needed, that has to be decided by the doctor and the second therapy would be started only after about 8 weeks of completing the first therapy. The recommended dosage of Accutane depends on the weight of the patient. 0.5 to 1.0 mg / kg / day is the recommended dosage. The dosage per day is split into two doses and given along with food. It is important that Accutane is taken along with food for proper absorption. Otherwise the drug will not be effective. This has to be corrected before the dosage is increased in the patient.

Precautions

In women those who are not pregnant only can take Accutane for the treatment of nodular acne. If pregnant women take Accutane there are chances for the fetus to have severe defects. Pregnant women should not take this drug even for a short duration. Birth defects could include abnormal growth of face, ears, skull, eyes, and even the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. Do not increase the dosage of Accutane in any patient unless you are sure that the patient is taking the medicine along with food.

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