Network analysis finds oral isotretinoin most effective for acne vulgaris

Clinical Question

Which are the most effective therapies for acne vulgaris?

Bottom line

In this monstrous analysis, oral isotretinoin was the most effective therapy for decreasing the number of lesions in patients with acne. Be aware, however, that oral isotretinoin is not considered first-line therapy. Combination therapy with topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide plus oral or topical antibiotics were comparably effective in achieving investigators’ assessment of treatment success. Another analysis suggested starting with either adapalene plus benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin plus benzoyl peroxide, or adapalene alone. 1a-

Study design: Meta-analysis (randomized controlled trials)

Funding: Unknown/not stated

Setting: Outpatient (any)


Henry C. Barry, MD, MS
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

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Arup Kumar Dhara

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oral isotretinoin and its effect on acne vulgaris

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Acne vulgaris

Good information about treatment of
Acne Vulgaris