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What Is Sotret Used For?

Adults and children as young as 12 years old may find that Sotret can clear up severe nodular acne permanently. This prescription acne medicine is approved only after other forms of treatment have failed. However, there may also be times when Sotret is used for off-label (unapproved) reasons, such as treating certain types of cancer.

An Overview of Uses for Sotret

Sotret™ (isotretinoin) is an effective but potentially dangerous acne medication that is available by prescription only. Unlike some other acne medications, it is taken by mouth rather than applied to the skin. Although Sotret can be quite effective with just one (or sometimes two) courses of treatment, it is reserved for people who have severe nodular acne that has not responded well to other treatments.
 
There are many types of acne, and nodular acne is one of the most severe. Nodules are large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin. Severe nodular acne involves many nodules, not just a few. Sotret is approved only for severe nodule acne; it is not approved for milder types.
 
Your dermatologist may recommend the use of Sotret if other acne treatments have not worked. However, because this drug can also cause birth defects, it is important that you are not pregnant and do not plan on getting pregnant while taking it.
 
Women must use two methods of birth control at the same time during treatment. This is done for one month before acne treatment begins, during acne treatment, and for a full month after stopping the drug. Talk with your dermatologist about when it is safe to get pregnant.
 

How Does This Medication Work?

Sotret is a retinoid, which means it is similar to vitamin A. It works by affecting the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum (an oily substance). Sotret works by reducing the size of the sebaceous glands and decreasing sebum production.
 
The medication also corrects abnormal keratinization, which contributes to acne by causing a buildup of cells within hair follicles. It is not entirely clear why Sotret causes such long-lasting anti-acne effects (one 15- to 20-week course often clears up acne permanently).
 

Sotret Acne Medication Information

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