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A prospective study of the effect of isotretinoin on the follicular reservoir and sustainable sebum excretion rate in patients with acne.

Author(s): Hughes BR, Cunliffe WJ

Affiliation(s): Leeds (England) Foundation for Dermatological Research, General Infirmary.

Publication date & source: 1994-03, Arch Dermatol., 130(3):315-8.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND AND DESIGN: A prospective study of 30 patients with moderate to severe acne was performed. The follicular reservoir and sustainable sebum excretion rates were measured before and after a 4-month course of isotretinoin at a dose of 1 mg/kg per day. RESULTS: The follicular reservoir and sustainable sebum excretion rates were profoundly reduced at the end of the course of isotretinoin (79% and 83%, respectively) and remained significantly suppressed at 1 year following therapy (43% and 36%, respectively). Those patients who relapsed clinically at 1 year after treatment had a significantly higher follicular reservoir rate. CONCLUSIONS: These data support the concept that up to 1 year after therapy, there is a reduction in the sebum secretion rate accompanying the remission of acne. This suppressed sebum secretion may modulate the microenvironment of the pilosebaceous canal through an effect on the follicular reservoir.

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