Overview of Isotretinoin

  • Isotretinoin is a Retinoid (VitaminA like) type drug. It was first synthesised in 1955. It was approved for use and has been available since 1982-3 in North America for the treatment of acne.
  • While in recent years it has been shrouded by some controversy, it remains an essential tool in the treatment of severe or persistant acne.
  • There are few drugs that provide an actual cure for a medical condition and Isotretinoin is such a medication.

The Changing Role of Isotretinoin

  • Dermatologists are tending these days to use this drug earlier in the acne process to reduce both the psychological burden of chronic acne and also to prevent permanent scarring.

Safety Considerations

  • Patient selection, strict adherence to pregnancy prevention and close follow up of patients while on Isotretinoin make this a relatively safe experience. Refer to