Active Ingredients: Isotretinoin
I should know: I am one such patient. In the spring of, I grew a beard for the first time ever and enjoyed a few liberating months of facial hirsutism before my follicles and I met our match: Enterobacter aerogenes.
Despite multiple rounds of topical and oral antibiotics, these unexpected visitors simply refused to die. Often the patient has some degree of acne scarring and, more subtly, a kind of psychological scarring—a sense of dejection and resignation to an unfair but inescapable dermatological fate.
To start, Accutane was the brand name concocted by Roche Pharmaceuticals for isotretinoin 13-cis retinoic acid, an oral medication that was approved by the FDA in 1982 for the treatment of cystic acne.
Embraced enthusiastically by dermatologists and acne sufferers alike, Accutane—like Band-Aid, Chapstick, and Kleenex—became a proprietary eponym, in which a brand name is so successful, it is used as frequently or more than the generic object it refers to.
It would be twenty years before a generic form of isotretinoin called Amnesteem was approved by the FDA.Check your subscription package, update your details, renew or upgrade. Music as medicine American Psychological Association Music as medicine.
And while Roche removed Accutane from the market in, amid increasing allegations of gastrointestinal and psychiatric side effects more on this later, the brand name endures. I took one called Myorisan.
To my knowledge, they are all more or less the same, with some manufacturers claiming better absorbency. Isotretinoin falls under the umbrella of retinoids, synthetic analogs of vitamin A. Like its sister medication, topical tretinoin—also better known by its original brand name, Retin-A—isotretinoin is a first-generation retinoid.
These are the most studied retinoids, with significant research substantiating both their acne fighting and anti-aging properties.
I was—and still am—a proponent of topical retinoids, long before I swallowed my first Accutane capsule.
What does Accutane do? These include cells in sebaceous glands, which are the oil- or sebum-producing glands attached to hair follicles that are typically overactive in patients with acne.
Excessive sebum can block the sebaceous gland duct, leading to a closed comedo whitehead or open comedo blackhead. Then the bacteria Proprionibacterium acnes, which live deep within the follicles, feast on the sebum as their primary food source and overpopulate.