Tretizen contains Isotretinoin as its active ingredient. Tretizen is a retinoid that is used to treat severe acne. Nodular acne and cystic acne are forms of severe acne causing big, deep, and painful cysts or nodules. These forms of acne can occur independently or together as nodulocystic acne. Severe acne is quite difficult to treat, and may cause scarring if left untreated.
Tretizen is only prescribed for severe nodular acne, only when the acne failed to improve with other acne medications. About 85% of patients have seen improvement after one course of Isotretinoin treatment. While the exact mechanism of Tretizen is unknown, the improvement of severe acne is thought to be associated with the reduction of skin oil production, changing the skin oil characteristics, and prevention of abnormal skin hardening.
The exact dosage per patient will be determined by a dermatologist as it will depend on the severity of the condition, weight and age of patient, and the response to treatment.
Tretizen must be taken orally and swallowed whole with a glassful of water. It is taken with food to help increase the absorption of the drug to the bloodstream. Although some brands may be taken with or without food. Tretizen are usually taken twice a day for 15 to 20 weeks. The usual adult dose of Isotretinoin for severe recalcitrant nodular acne is 0.5 mg to 1 mg/kg of body weight per day by mouth in 2 divided doses. 2 mg/kg per day may be needed for severe acne with scarring or severe acne on the trunk. The usual pedriatic dose of Tretizen for 12 years and older is 0.5 mg to 1mg/kg of body weight per day by mouth in 2 divided doses.
The common side effects of Tretizen include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, chapped lips, dry eyes, mouth or skin, dry nose that may cause nosebleed, temporary worsening of acne, minor swelling of eyelids or lips, crusty skin, upset stomach and thinning of hair. Use a lip moisturizer may help prevent cracking of lips. Contact the dermatologist if any of these side effects persist or worsen.