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Very low-dose isotretinoin in mild to moderate papulopustular rosacea; a retrospective review of 52 patients.

Australas J Dermatol. 2016 Jul 20;

Authors: Rademaker M

Abstract
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects up to 10% of the population. Standard treatments include topical azelaic acid and metronidazole or systemic tetracyclines. Isotretinoin has generally been restricted to severe disease, often at a dose of 0.5-1.0 mg/kg/day.
METHOD: Retrospective review of open-label isotretinoin (initial dose 20 mg/day, with dose adjustments according to response), in patients with mild to moderate papulopustular rosacea.
RESULTS: Altogether 52 patients (33 women), mean age 48 years (range 18-86) were treated with isotretinoin over a 5-year period. All patients were commenced on 20-mg isotretinoin/day which was reduced to 10-20 mg once to five times a week (equivalent to 5 mg/day) in 67%, but increased in 15% (who all had additional acne) to 30-40 mg/day. In terms of dose/kg/day, 29% received ≤ 0.1 mg/kg/day, 46% received 0.11-0.25 mg/kg/day and 10% received > 0.5 mg/kg/day. Treatment was continued for 57 weeks (range 9-223). Six patients (12%) did not attend follow up. Of the remainder, in 91% (42/46) the rosacea had cleared or was excellent. One patient stopped isotretinoin because of its adverse effects. Two-fifths (44%) suffered no adverse effect. The most common side-effect was cheilitis in half (52%), which was mild in all but one patient.
CONCLUSION: Very low-dose isotretinoin (e.g., 10-20 mg once to five times a week, equivalent to 5 mg/day) is an effective treatment for mild to moderate papulopustular rosacea and is well tolerated.

PMID: 27435665 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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