The oral retinoid isotretinoin (Accutane, and others) is the most effective drug available for treatment of acne.1 The FDA has recently approved a new oral isotretinoin product (Absorica – Cipher/Ranbaxy) for treatment of severe, recalcitrant nodular acne (Table).
Isotretinoin can completely clear severe nodulocystic lesions, in some cases leading to remission that can persist for years after treatment is stopped. Mucocutaneous adverse effects include dry skin, dry eye, epistaxis, nasopharyngitis, cheilitis, alopecia, eczema, skin fragility and photosensitivity. Musculoskeletal symptoms, hypertriglyceridemia, hepatitis, pancreatitis, pseudotumor cerebri, depression and psychosis can occur.
In Brief: Absorica for Acne. JAMA. 2014;311(20):2123. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5289