West Houston Dermatology

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Accutane and Acne

In 1982 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Accutane.  Most dermatologists prescribed Accutane to severe, cystic acne after topical and antibiotic treatments proved unsuccessful for the patient.  Eighty-five percent of patients experienced a marked improvement in their acne symptoms with one course of treatment lasting between 3-5 months.  As with any medication, there are risk factors to consider, and the same is true of Accutane.  This treatment can cause severe birth defects if taken by pregnant women of a woman who becomes pregnant while taking the medication, which is why all patients were counseled regarding this risk, and the iPledge program was instituted.  The pharmaceutical company, Roche, announced in July 2009 that it would no longer manufacture or distribute Accutane, citing generics eroding market share since 2002.  Accutane is still available, and the generic name is isotretinoin.  In recent years, Accutane (isotretinoin) has been the center of controversy because of lawsuits by plaintiffs’ firms alleging that the drug causes anything from mental health problems to inflammatory bowel diseases.  Though causation has not been definitively established, many patients seeking acne treatment are looking for alternative.  Dr. Stephen Mahoney of West Houston Dermatology is a top doctor for acne treatment in Houston.  In fact, West Houston Dermatology is one of the few skin care clinics in Houston that treats acne with laser technology.  To learn more about options for acne treatment, contact West Houston Dermatology for an appointment.