Acne Treatment Journal

Sotret Anti-Acne Drug Information
A guide to "Sotret", a brand name isotretinoin based anti-acne medication, including side effects & usage tips.

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Sotret is one of the generic brand names of "isotretinoin" which was created by Roche Pharmaceuticals in 1982 and sold as "Accutane".

In 2002, Roche's patent expired which allowed other drug companies to release their brand of "isotretinoin".

Besides Sotret, the other generic brands that compete with "Accutane" are Claravis and Amnesteem

The active ingredient in Sotret, isotretinoin, is derived from Vitamin A and belongs to the retinoid family of medications.

Sotret and other isotretinoin based drugs are taken orally in a variety of strengths and frequencies depending on your body weight.

Sotret works by actually altering the transcription of your DNA to change how your skin cells behave and to reduce the size and output of sebaceous glands.

By reducing the size and output of the sebaceous glands, Sotret eliminates most of the sebum that causes comedones, inflammatory acne lesions and deep cystic nodules under the skin.

Most patients take Sotret for 5-6 months and then are free of acne for the rest of their lives. Some patients have to undergo a second course of isotretinoin a year or two later.

My dermatologist referred to Accutane and Sotret as "the nuclear bomb of anti-acne drugs" because of it's powerful side effects and long lasting success in eradicating this often persistent skin disorder.

While taking any isotretinoin based drug, patients must submit to a blood test at least once a month to monitor liver functions and to check for seriously elevated cholesterol levels.

The common but minor side effects of Sotret include dry eyes, chapped lips, flaky scalp, hair loss, nosebleeds, muscle aches, and increased sensitivity to the sun.

To manage all these small but bothersome side effects I recommend that you carry eye drops, lip balm, and sensitive skin moisturizer with SPF 15 with you every day. At home you'll need a moisturizing anti-dandruff shampoo, a gentle skin cleanser such as Cetaphil or Neutrogena, and Aquaphor to wear overnight on those severely chapped lips and dry skin.

Some of the rare but severe side effects of Sotret include intense nausea, persistent vomiting, vision problems, depression and thoughts of taking one's own life. If you experience any of these side effects, talk to your dermatologist, a doctor or a psychologist immediately.

Women who are able to become pregnant should exercise extra caution while taking Sotret by using two forms of birth control, and undergoing pregnancy tests each month.

Isotretinoin based drugs are listed on the FDA's "Category X" list which means that it can cause an unborn fetus to develop severe birth defects. You should also not take Sotret while breastfeeding since the isotretinoin can possibly pass through to breast milk and harm the baby.

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