|Isotrex Gel||isotretinoin||Brand||United Kingdom||0.05%||30G Tube||DR||$36.55||-|
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Isotrex Gel is a preparation that is applied directly to the skin to treat acne. It contains an active ingredient called isotretinoin, which is classed as a 'retinoid' and is derived from vitamin A. It is effective at treating mild to moderate acne.
Isotrex Gel (isotretinoin) is used to treat mild to moderate acne and a handful of other skin conditions. It should not be used in children who have not yet started puberty.
The active ingredient in Isotrex Gel is isotretinoin, a vitamin A derivative better known by the brand name Accutane. Accutane is administered via tablet and is a remarkably effective treatment for moderate to severe acne. However, when administered via tablet, it also carries risk of severe side effects. Applied topically to the skin, Isotrex Gel is somewhat less potent than Accutane tablets, but is also considerably less likely to produce serious side effects.
Additionally, because of Accutane's risks---particularly with respect to harming unborn or breastfeeding babies---it is heavily regulated in many areas, with patients unable to legally purchase it without registering with---and participating in---programs to ensure patients avoid pregnancy and monitor for side effects. Isotrex Gel, on the other hand, has no such requirements.
To summarize the differences between Isotrex Gel and other forms of isotretinoin:
Note that if men take isotretinoin tablets the medication will be present in sperm and thus can cause birth defects even if the woman has not taken the medication. While this is unlikely to be a concern for men using Isotrex Gel, the subject has not been studied in-depth and so it should be assumed there is at least a slight risk. Both men and women should avoid using any isotretinoin products if trying to conceive.
An Acne Solution that Really Works
While Isotrex Gel is admittedly less potent than isotretinoin tablets, it is still a powerful medication and it very often produces results when other treatments have failed. Its effects are not completely understood, but it does offer a number of clear benefits:
A thin layer of Isotrex Gel should be applied to the affected area once or twice per day. Avoid getting it in eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin. The gel may sting quite a bit when first applied; applying less gel or applying the gel less frequently may help. Note there has been no advantage shown in applying more than a thin layer or more frequently than twice a day.
In most cases it takes 4 to 8 weeks of regular treatment before significant improvements are seen and several months before acne is fully cleared. In the first few weeks of treatment the condition may noticeably worsen. This is an unfortunate---and frustrating---drawback, but the end results are often worth it; patients who stick with it often find their acne clears up completely and stays that way for years---even permanently. If acne does return treatment can be restarted, and if Isotrex Gel is used at early symptoms it will often be cleared up in weeks rather than months.
Isotrex Gel should be used with caution on skin conditions other than acne, such as eczema or rosacea. Tablets have shown benefit in these conditions, but they tend to be very sensitive to topical solutions and the condition may be worsened.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
Some things to keep in mind while using Isotrex Gel:
As mentioned above, stinging is common when Isotrex Gel is first applied. Skin may also feel warm and turn slightly red. Those side effects are normal and not cause for concern. Severe pain, irritation, and peeling are not normal; try applying less gel or using it less frequently if this occurs. If reducing application doesn't help, stop using Isotrex Gel. A doctor or pharmacist can recommend an alternative treatment.