Background: Aimed at the reduction of post-treatment relapse of severe acne, the cumulative dose of oral isotretinoin should be ≥120 mg/kg. However, data on the appropriate oral isotretinoin treatment regimen in mild and moderate acne are lacking.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of an isotretinoin-sparing protocol in inducing permanent remission of mild and moderate acne.
Methods: In this open, prospective, non-comparative study, 150 patients affected with mild-to-moderate acne were treated with isotretinoin until complete recovery and for a further month of treatment, independent of the total cumulative dose reached. Patients then underwent a 1-year maintenance therapy with adapalene 0.1% cream. Patients were followed up for a further year, without any treatment.
Results: A total of 139 patients completed the study. Overall, patients received a mean of 80.92 mg/kg cumulative dose of isotretinoin. In the 2-year follow-up, relapse only appeared in 13 patients (9.35%).
Conclusion: Comparing our findings with published data, this isotretinoin-sparing regimen was shown to be effective in inducing stable remission and preventing acne relapses in patients with mild-to-moderate acne. Low-cumulative dose regimens may potentially lead to a lower incidence of side-effects and to lower costs than higher doses.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2010 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.