WHAT IS SOTRET ISOTRETINOIN 0.05% GEL
Sotret Gel is manufactured by reputable Sun Pharmaceuticals and contains Isotretinoin 0.05% BP w/w. Sotret is a generic gel for branded Isotrex and Isotrexin topical isotretinoin gels. Tretinoin and isotretinoin are the sound-alikes generic names for two different medications. Both are used to treat acne and both belong to a group of medications called retinoids. Retinoids are medications that are derived from vitamin A. This explains why the two substances have such similar names. However, they are quite different products.
Sotret 0.05% Isotretinoin Gel is an example of a topical medication used for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of acne vulgaris. This topical medication contains Isotretinoin, which is an active ingredient indicated for the treatment of various acne forms in the skin. Isotretinoin is famous for its effectiveness in the treatment of worst cases of acne, but it does so in oral form. The topical Isotretinoin is “milder” and has a localized effect on skin, as opposed to the systemic effect of the oral Isotretinoin products.
Isotretinoin gel is used for mild acne cases only as they only work on the surface of the skin by increasing the rate of the shredding of the old cells to make way for new ones. By this action, the comedones are expelled and the skin’s renewal is initiated.
Although the oral Isotretinoin version of the active ingredient is very effective in treating acne of increased severity, the case of the topical Isotretinoin is not the same. The effectiveness of the topical Isotretinoin treatment (gels or creams) is comparable to Tretinoin and other topical treatments for mild to moderate acne. The topical Isotretinoin works only on the surface of the skin by accelerating the shredding of the corneocytes on the skin. This action leads to mature comedone expulsion from the skin and the prevention of new comedone production. Isotretinoin also locally reverses the abnormal cell differentiation by enhancing the epithelial turnover (follicular). For this reason, topical retinoids like Isotretinoin and Tretinoin are also considered for other applications like the reversal of skin ageing in patients.
The main benefits of Isotretinoin use have always been for acne. Either topical or oral, Isotretinoin is able to rid the skin of acne after a single course (or multiple courses) of treatment. Before and after results testify to the effectiveness of Isotretinoin medications for mild to severe acne, especially after the completion of the prescribed treatment.
Aside from its application for acne clearing, Isotretinoin also is used in other conditions like Darier’s disease and improvement of bilateral nipple keratosis. Since Isotretinoin (topical) encourages the shedding of old cells from the skin to expel comedones and encourages new epithelial turnover, it is also being used in the reversal of aging signs of the skin like wrinkles and fine lines. It is also used in the improvement the appearance of scars and stretch marks by dermatologists, although these applications for Isotretinoin’s cosmetic use have not been approved just yet.
WHAT IS ISOTRETINOIN 0.05% BP
Isotretinoin, also known as 13-cis-retinoic acid (and colloquially referred to by its former brand name Accutane), is a solution primarily used to treat severe acne. Rarely, it is also used to prevent certain skin cancers (squamous-cell carcinoma), and in the treatment of other cancers. It is used to treat harlequin-type ichthyosis, a usually lethal skin disease, and lamellar ichthyosis. It is a retinoid, meaning it is related to vitamin A and is found in small quantities naturally in the body. Its isomer, tretinoin, is also an acne drug.
Isotretinoin is primarily used as a treatment for severe acne. The most common adverse effects are a transient worsening of acne (lasting 1-4 months), dry lips (cheilitis), dry and fragile skin, and an increased susceptibility to sunburn. Uncommon and rare side effects include muscle aches and pains (myalgias), and headaches. Isotretinoin is known to cause birth defects due to in-utero exposure because of the molecule’s close resemblance to retinoic acid, a natural vitamin A derivative which controls normal embryonic development. It is also associated with psychiatric side effects, most commonly depression but also, more rarely, psychosis and unusual behaviours.
Photodamaged skin occurs as a result of long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Topical application of 0.05% isotretinoin is an effective and well-tolerated treatment leading to clinically apparent improvement in the appearance of the photodamaged skin of the face, forearms, and hands.
The efficacy of tretinoin is well established in the treatment of acne and photoaged skin, however as a typical side effect of tretinoin treatment most users develop a low-grade irritant dermatitis. Since isotretinoin topical treatment usually shows much lower incidence and intensity of adverse effects than tretinoin topical treatment, histological studies are needed to scientifically evaluate the effects of isotretinoin application on epidermis and also to assess if it can be used in anti-aging products as an alternative to tretinoin.
Comparing the effects of the topical use of tretinoin or isotretinoin on hairless mice epidermis, using appropriate histopathological and histometric techniques, in order to evaluate the influence of isomerism on skin effects. For this, gel-cream formulations containing or not 0.05% tretinoin or 0.05% isotretinoin were applied in the dorsum of hairless mice, once a day for seven days. Histopathological evaluation, viable epidermal and horny layer thicknesses, as well as the number of epidermal cell layers, were determined. Results showed that tretinoin and isotretinoin were effective in the enhancement of viable epidermis thickness and number of epidermal cell layers, suggesting that they could be used for stimulation of cellular renewal. However, isomerism influenced skin effects since isotretinoin had more pronounced effects than tretinoin in viable epidermis. In addition, only isotretinoin treatment enhanced horny layer thickness (the horny layer is part of the epidermis which is the outer layer of the skin which some report thinning of on tretinoin) when compared to the gel cream treatment.
DURATION OF SOTRET ACNE TREATMENT THERAPY
In topical Isotretinoin, the users are always asked to use the lowest dose first (0.025% Tretinoin or Isotretinoin) before proceeding to the stronger strength. But depending on the condition and the advice of the dermatologists, users are also prescribed the 0.05% version. The product is applied to the affected area twice a day after washing.
The results take about 3 months to show and the treatment stops when complete clearing is achieved for the skin. In some cases of relapse, the patients are prescribed another round of topical treatment. If the patients do not respond well to the initial therapy, they may be prescribed higher doses of Isotretinoin or they may be recommended to take the oral Isotretinoin version later on.
SOTRET ISOTRETINOIN 0.05% SIDE EFFECTS AND WARNINGS
Since topical Sotret Isotretinoin 0.05% is unlike the systemic oral type which affects even the enzyme, lipid, and blood cell levels, the side effects of the topical Isotretinoin are more localized in nature. Common reports of side effects include redness, itching, burning, stinging, and localized skin pain. In some users, side effects of localized dryness and scaling are also observed.
Although Isotretinoin in the topical version is not systemic, patients who are pregnant are still prevented from taking the medication due to Isotretinoin’s teratogenicity (it belongs to pregnancy category X). Much caution should also be observed by female patients of childbearing age who are prescribed the drug due to the possible harm that the drug can bring.