Cureacne 40 g/20 mg is made by the manufacturer Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, which is a company which started its operations in France. Since the company has now expanded into a number of territories, the Isotretinoin-containing product is manufactured in a number of the company’s plants in other countries like Argentina, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, and Slovakia.
The main active ingredient of the product, Curacne 40 mg/20 mg, is Isotretinoin, which is used in the treatment of not just simple acne, but it is used in the treatment of the end-stage acne breakouts, or the worst ones. Isotretinoin products, especially the oral ones are known to be very effective in the complete elimination of acne in patients who suffer even from the ugliest cases of acne. Cureacne is just one of the many, many types of oral Isotretinoin products in the worldwide market, as manufacturers, especially the ones in the dermatology category make their own brands of Isotretinoin products.
As for Cureacne, although the product is only made by the manufacturer in capsule form, the product actually has several variants available—it can be bought in the lowest formulation, 5 mg, then 10 mg, 20 mg, and the highest available, 40 mg . Doctors usually prescribe 500 mcg/kg in a day, and it is up to the physician’s discretion to whether increase or decrease the medication dosage for the patients, depending on their medication tolerance and the response of the acne lesions in the patients’ skins.
Unlike other Isotretinoin products, Curacne is made by various branches of Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, so the product is available in a number of countries aside from France. Curacne is available in Argentina, Greece, Lebanon, Poland , and other EU countries, and it is also sold online, but the delivery is limited to the mentioned countries alone. But at least, the product is available in select regions worldwide and not exclusive to a certain place only.
About Pierre Fabre, the Manufacturer
The company started during the early 1950s and started as a retail pharmacy store bought and operated by the founder, Pierre Fabre. From being a retail store, the company has now evolved to be one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in France, which has its specialization in the field of research and development of medical apparatuses and pharmaceutical-grade products. The company aims to care for the welfare of an individual holistically, and not only the physical aspect but also the psychological and psychosocial aspect as well . The company does not only aim to provide health to the disabled or the ill, but it aims to improve health for everyone .
As for the focus of the production process, Pierre Fabre has its expertise in the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, pharmaceutical products, and dermo-cosmetic production . Aside from producing its own brands, the company also accepts sub-contractors and allows them to use the facilities of the company for their own brands .
It is important to know whether a company is accredited by international agencies for upholding only the highest standard in manufacturing. Pierre Fabre company is a well-accredited company too, as it currently holds certifications like ISO 9001 for quality management system and ISO 13485 for quality management too, but for medical devices. It is also compliant with ISO 22716 or the GMP for cosmetic and medicinal products .
Scientific Studies on Isotretinoin
Early studies on Isotretinoin studied its capability to heal the acne lesions present in patients. Today, Isotretinoin’s effectiveness in the treatment of acne in patients is evident and is proven by a large number of existing studies regarding the action of Isotretinoin in acne lesions. One of the earlier studies done on Isotretinoin was by Leyden and McGinley in 1982, which was entitled “Effect of 13-cis-retinoic acid on sebum production and Propionibacterium acnes in severe nodulocystic acne” . This study aimed to determine the effect of Isotretinoin in sebum production and the general effect of Isotretinoin in acne lesions and the presence of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes . There were 10 patients who were involved with the study, and they were treated with Isotretinoin for 9 months for the study. According to the results of the study, the patients had a significant reduction in their sebum levels on the cheek and forehead (70%) and the effect was maintained for the last 2 months of therapy . Along with the marked decrease in sebum levels in patients treated with Isotretinoin, the patients were also observed to have reductions in the number of P.acnes present on their skin . 6/10 patients even had no presence of the bacteria during the 3rd month of treatment, while the other remaining patients showed a significant decrease in the bacterial population present in the skin . However, although the results were good, the bacterial presence and sebaceous levels were observed to increase and return to their pretreatment conditions in just 2 months post therapy .
Isotretinoin is not the only retinoid in the market, as there are other active pharmaceutical ingredients for acne which belong to almost the same family as Isotretinoin. Tretinoin is also a retinoid, and studies went on to discover the difference in term of stability of a topical Tretinoin product and a topical Isotretinoin product when it comes to acne treatment. The study by Elbaum in 1988, “Comparison of the stability of topical isotretinoin and topical tretinoin and their efficacy in acne” sought to find out which one of the two treatments is more effective in clearing out acne lesions in patients . With regards to product stability, the products were tested for 4 hours under incandescent light, and 80% of topical Isotretinoin and only 60% of topical tretinoin remained from the original preparations. As for the effectiveness of the products, both were discovered to have the same rate of effectiveness; neither of the medications showed a significant difference in their effectiveness on the acne lesions . So either one of topical Isotretinoin and Tretinoin preps is good to use for acne .
Although known to be very effective in the treatment of acne vulgaris and worst-case acne breakouts in patients, there are some issues regarding the use of Isotretinoin in patients, and one of the issues linked to Isotretinoin use is the increased occurrences in depressive symptoms in patients. Studies were conducted to see whether there is a substantial ground for the links to depression and other psychological problems, and one of the studies conducted on this topic is the research by Yesilova et.al. in 2012 entitled “Effects of isotretinoin on obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depression, and anxiety in patients with acne vulgaris” . The study aimed to discover whether Isotretinoin causes depression or exacerbates symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorders or anxiety in patients . It is interesting, however, that the study concluded that Isotretinoin, instead of worsening the symptoms, even led to the improvement of depressive, obsessive-compulsive, and anxiety symptoms in the 43 participants of the study . Isotretinoin improved the patients with those disorders, and only exhibited obsessive doubting regarding the effect of the oral Isotretinoin. Aside from that, the treatment was generally successful .
Description and Mechanism of Action of Isotretinoin
The main function of oral Isotretinoin is its capability to induce death of the sebocytes or sebaceous cells which are responsible for the production of sebum (oil) in the skin. Sebaceous glands are highly active in patients with acne vulgaris and severe forms of acne, so oral Isotretinoin’s direct action on these glands helps to halt the production of sebum in the skin.
The sebaceous glands’ size is reduced and their sebum production activity is lessened (or halted), the oil-dependent bacteria activity (P.acnes) is suppressed too . Since the bacterial activity is managed by Isotretinoin’s sebum-suppressing effect, the inflammation is markedly reduced, leading to the healing of the acne lesions in the patients’ skin .
Aside from inhibiting sebum production by sebaceous cell apoptosis and regulating P.acnes in the skin, Isotretinoin is also known to inhibit the process of comedogenesis (or the formation of whiteheads and blackheads) by ushering keratinocyte differentiation and having an effect of normalizing skin desquamation .
Curacne Effects for Acne/Scars
The clinical benefits of Isotretinoin for patients under oral treatment for acne are seen in weeks into treatment. The drying up of the lesions and acne scars in the skin is one of the consequences of the use of Isotretinoin for acne, and the before and after results are easily seen in patients treated with any Isotretinoin product since the product is highly effective in managing acne symptoms.
Although Isotretinoin is effective in treating acne and acne scars, Isotretinoin’s effect in the improvement of wrinkles and stretch marks is still being studied, as the product’s current use is just limited to treating severe forms of acne in patients.
Recommended Doses and Duration of Therapy
The universal recommended dose for acne management in patients with moderate to severe cases of acne is just half a mg to 1 mg of Isotretinoin every kg of the patient, per day. This dose has effectively treated acne patients over the years, though new studies have been conducted for this universal dose’s modification. There are some studies suggesting that low-dosing of Isotretinoin (about 20 mg daily) is effective in managing acne and also effective in sustaining the clearing of acne in patients. On the other hand, other studies are also suggesting that high doses of Isotretinoin are also effective in clearing out acne in patients.
It is rather interesting that both suggestions for dose modification are actually effective for the treatment of acne in patients. It seems that the patients are responding well to treatment, regardless of dosage proportion. As for the recommendation for the duration of therapy for optimal results, the use of Isotretinoin is always advised for more than 4 months, as the body still needs to cope with the effects of the systemic medication. Some doctors recommend 6 to 8 months of treatment, while some prescribe long-term (a year or so) of very low dose Isotretinoin therapy for acne management. It seems that not only the dosage is personalized for Isotretinoin; the duration is personalized as well. Depending on the patients’ response to treatment, the doctors may prescribe longer or shorter durations of therapy.
Side effects and Warnings
Since Isotretinoin is an oral product, it happens to have systemic effects on the body. Side effects are almost always inevitable in the patients under Isotretinoin therapy, so patients should be wary of the side effects that Isotretinoin intake could give them.
Patients reportedly have anemia, thrombocytosis, thrombocytopenia, an increase of RBC sedimentation, headache, nose bleeds, dryness (nose), nasopharyngitis, inflammation of the lips, general drying o the skin, pruritus, rashes, back pain, and general weakness . These are commonly observed side effects for the use of Isotretinoin in patients, as these occur in one every 10 patients treated with the drug.
There are rare side effects for Isotretinoin use and some of these rare side effects are worrisome and need medical attention as they can cause harm or can even be permanent and irreversible. One of the most controversial side effects of Isotretinoin is its teratogenicity, as the drug can cause fetal deaths and congenital problems if mothers take Isotretinoin during pregnancy.
The potential side effects should be properly considered by the patients before agreeing to therapy, although most patients treated with Isotretinoin do not find the side effects as problematic as their severe acne condition.
A number of drugs are known to interact harmfully with Isotretinoin so patients are advised to take the drug with caution and tell their physicians about their other current medications for their other medical conditions. Some of the drugs which interact with Isotretinoin are corticosteroids (oral), phenytoin, St. John’s Wort (the interaction can cause depressive symptoms), Ethinyl estradiol, progesterone, tetracyclines, and vitamin A. These drugs mentioned should be taken with precaution, or not taken at all, especially in conjunction with Isotretinoin, as the use of these drugs with Isotretinoin can cause harm to the patients.
It is always wise to disclose all medications upon the initial assessment, as medications, even supplements, can exacerbate side effects or create a new yet unbeneficial effect to the patients. Even over-the-counter medication intake should be limited and checked in with the GP first.
As for Curacne’s reviews, there were just a few available on the web, and the reviews weren’t exactly positive for the drug. Like any other Isotretinoin product, the intake of Curacne involves tedious testing as it is a systemic drug with a number of known negative effects.
According to the comment by a doctor from Realself.com, the use of Curacne 40 mg/20 mg entails side effects and requires blood testing and signing up for a program specifically for Isotretinoin users. According to Dr. Landow, Isotretinoin products like Curacne are not drugs made for beautification or an anti-aging drug and it is rather tedious to take.
Several users posted their Curacne 40 mg/20 mg experience on Meamedica.fr. While they gave 5/5 stars for the product’s ease of use, the patients using the product complained of side effects like palpitations, fatigue, weakness, and others. Although the patients noted the effectiveness of the drug, they advised that other patients considering to take Curacne should be made aware of its potential side effects. One patient complained that the side effects caused by Curacne gave her hard time and affected her studies as well.
Although effective, I think that it is wise to consider all the aspects of a drug before deciding to take them. Based on the user comments for the product, Curacne 40 mg/20 mg is effective, but its side effects are affecting their daily living activities. I think Curacne is still recommendable, though, but the patients should be aware of the hazards involved in the intake of oral Isotretinoin products like Curacne.
Price, Available Forms and Dosage
Since Curacne 40 mg/20 mg is made in various manufacturing plants of Pierre Fabre, it can be expected that the product is also sold in the countries where these plants are located. Most of these manufacturing plants are located in Europe, so Curacne is generally available for patients in the EU area. The price for Curacne is actually affordable, as 30 soft capsules of the 20 mg variant are only sold for $21.53. If patients are only to take 20 mg of Isotretinoin a day, then the $21.53 cost is not bad a price for a month’s supply of Curacne.
Curacne 40 mg/20 mg is sold online, however, shipping is unavailable in countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia, as the product is only available for clients in the EU area. Fortunately for users abroad, there are always Isotretinoin products locally available in the drugstores. International shipping is not supported by the stores selling Curacne yet, so patients in countries other than the EU should just consider buying local Isotretinoin brands.
Conclusion and Rating
Curacne 40 mg/20 mg is effective in the treatment of acne cases in patients, as its Isotretinoin content is very potent in the elimination of acne lesions present in the skin. Although users appreciated the effect of the drug in terms of its curative capacity, some users were actually bummed by the product’s side effects.
It is reported that Curacne interferes with one user’s capability to do normal work, and the side effect of the drug had been a concern. Since this is the case, I think patients should decide which is more important for them before deciding to push through with oral Isotretinoin treatment for acne. Should patients decide that they want their acne to heal more than anything and do not mind contracting side effects, then they should go ahead with the treatment. If they cannot handle the side effects, then they should just try other treatment options like using topical acne solutions.
As for the rating, I believe Curacne deserves 3 out of 5. The product is effective and manufactured by a stable and an innovative company, but the drug itself is not well-received by patients due to its side effects. It is still recommendable to use Curacne 40 mg/20 mg, but if and only if patients are ready for the side effects which may come with their acne’s healing.
Curacne Wiki Facts
- Brand: Curacne
- Active Ingredient: Isotretinoin
- Treatment: Acne
- Manufacturer: Laboratoires Pierre Fabre
- Country of Manufacture: Argentina, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, Slovakia
- Availability: Argentina, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, Slovakia, Vietnam
- Catalog.md: Curacne Drug Information. Available from: http://www.catalog.md/drugs/curacne.html
- Drugs.com: Curacne. Available from: https://www.drugs.com/international/curacne.html
- Pierre-fabre.com: OUR MISSION. Available from: http://www.pierre-fabre.com/en/mission
- Pierre-fabre.com: INDUSTRIAL EXPERTISE. Available from: http://www.pierre-fabre.com/en/industrial-expertise
- Pierre-fabre.com: DERMO-COSMETIC PRODUCTION. Available from: http://www.pierre-fabre.com/en/dermo-cosmetic-production
- Leyden JJ, McGinley KJ. Effect of 13-cis-retinoic acid on sebum production and Propionibacterium acnes in severe nodulocystic acne. Archives of dermatological research. 1982 Sep 1;272(3-4):331-7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6219631
- Elbaum DJ. Comparison of the stability of topical isotretinoin and topical tretinoin and their efficacy in acne. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1988 Sep 30;19(3):486-91. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2971693
- YesIlova Y, Bez Y, ArI M, Kaya MC, Alpak G. Effects of isotretinoin on obsessive compulsive symptoms, depression, and anxiety in patients with acne vulgaris. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 2012 Aug 1;23(4):268-71. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21815780
- Uptodate.com: Oral isotretinoin therapy for acne vulgaris. Available from: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/oral-isotretinoin-therapy-for-acne-vulgaris