Roaccutane/ Oratane is also known as isotretinoin. This medication belongs to the Retinoid class of drugs, and is a derivative of naturally occurring Vitamin A.
It works by targeting the four causes of acne:
- Decreasing counts of the bacteria P.acnes which is implicated in acne
- Decreasing inflammation ( which in turn results in pustules)
- Decreasing sebum (oil) production of the skin
- Normalizes the duct of the oil gland
How effective is this drug?
Roaccutane/ Oratane remains as the most effective treatment for acne. Success is seen in nearly 100% of patients. On average 80% of patients require only one course of Roaccutane/ Oratane. Improvement is seen within a few weeks of starting, however if your acne is severe then a transient flare up can be expected early on treatment. Your dermatologist will warn of this, and may take steps to reduce the flare up
How long will I need to be on this medication?
A course of therapy last between 6-12 months depending on the severity of acne and the body weight of the patient. In cases of very severe acne, such as acne involving the chest and back, a course of treatment may extend to beyond 14 months. Typically your dermatologist will start you on a very low dose to monitor for side effects and ease you into the drug. Depending on the severity of your acne you will be seen every 1-3 months to ensure your treatment is on track and that your side effects are well managed. By completing the course of medication as set by your treating dermatologist, this will ensure that you have the best possible chance of placing your acne in remission.
Dermatologist calculate your total dose by your body weight. For example, if you are 70kg, you will require 9 boxes. If you go thru one box a month, then your treatment course is 9 months. Your daily dose will depend on your side effects and the type of acne you have.
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