Comparison of Oral Isotretinoin vs Azithromycin in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris
Keywords:Acne; azithromycin; isotretinoin; vitamin B7; vitamin B12
Background: Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous follicles, common in
adolescents, characterized by comedones, papules, pustules, cysts, nodules, and occasionally scars. This
study was designed to compare multi B vitamins, folic acid and homocysteine levels in patients with
moderate to severe acne vulgaris with those of the apparently healthy control group and to investigate the
effect of isotretinoin and azithromycin treatments on these biochemical parameters and comparison between
Methods: This study was conducted on sixty women patients with acne and thirty as a control group. The
patients were allocated into two groups, A and B, group A was given 500 mg of azithromycin taken on
alternative days for 3 months and group B was given 40mg/day isotretinoin for 3 months.
Results: The study showed significant differences (p<0.05) in serum levels of vitamins B6, B7, B12 and
folic acid, while no significant difference in serum homocysteine in patient group when compared to control
group. The results showed significant positive correlation between serum vitamins and clinical score and
significant difference were detected in both group when compared between pre and post treatment.
Conclusions: The results indicate higher pre-treatment vitamin B12 levels, versus the control group and
positive correlation between clinical score and vitamin B12, support the assertion that vitamin B12 plays
a role in the etiopathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Both azithromycin and isotretinoin were effective in acne
treatment but azithromycin has less side effects.
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