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Contracne 20mg/10mg Isotretinoin Review: Bailleul-Made Acne Treatment Sold Only Locally

by Charlotte Taylor 1970-01-01

Contracne Ge, another product for with Isotretinoin (ISO), is one product manufactured by a French company, Bailleul Laboratoires. Contracne Ge comes only in soft gel form, and it is available on the market in several formulations including 20 mg, 10 mg, and 5 mg Isotretinoin. Products containing Isotretinoin are the ones indicated for nodular acne, acne conglobata, and acne types which are considered to be severe in nature [1].

Isotretinoin medications like Contracne Ge are strictly prescription, so patients should consult with a dermatologist before taking any ISO-containing medication, as Isotretinoin is a rather complex drug to take.

Unlike topical acne treatments, Isotretinoin is not the first option for the treatment of acne in patients. It is usually the last line of treatment, as it is used in patients who are unresponsive to the conventional treatment modalities for acne management [1]. Oral Isotretinoin is systemic in nature, so there is much care needed on its intake, especially that it is related to a number of side unpleasant side effects, with some even irreversible side effects like congenital anomalies for infants and termination of womb life for pregnant mothers.

Since there is a lot of speculation going around regarding the side effects of Isotretinoin in patients, studies have been conducted to assess its effect on specific bodily and brain functions. Aside from reportedly having a depressive effect on patients, Isotretinoin use is also suspected to cause other cognitive and behavioral defects in patients. Ergun et.al. studied whether Isotretinoin had an effect on learning and memory in their 2012 study, “Isotretinoin has no negative effect on attention, executive function and mood” [2]. However, the link to degradation of cognitive function with the use of Isotretinoin has not been seen based on the results of this study. Although that is the case, caution should still be exercised when taking Isotretinoin, as some risk factors are still present for its use.

About Bailleul Laboratoires (France)

The company, Bailleul Laboratoires from France was established in 1949, and today, the company is divided into 2 major product brands, the Biorga Dermatologie and Therica Médication Familiale [3]. The former (Biorgia) is the brand for the prescription medications and dietary supplements, while the latter (Therica) is Bailleul’s brand made for its over-the-counter (OTC) medication [3]. According to the company, its expertise is in the areas of Dermatology and Family Medicine [3].

Bailleul Laboratoires Location

Bailleul Laboratoires Location

As for its production, the company does not outsource from developing countries; its production process takes place only in Europe, in its France facility [4]. As for its accreditations, though, there is not much information, but Bailleul’s information mentioned that its production process is compliant with the standard manufacturing processes and that it is also accredited by the proper health authorities [4].

Delving deeper into the product offerings of Bailleul, its Biorga Dermatologie brand is further divided into 3 product lines, Ecophane Biorga (beauty and balance of hair and nails), Cystiphane Biorga (health of hair and nails), and skin care products for acne and rosacea (category where Contracne belongs) [5]. Therica Médication Familiale, on the other hand, has its focus on treatments for coughs and blood circulation problems [6].

Scientific Studies on Oral Isotretinoin

Studies on Isotretinoin are not anymore conducted to test its effectiveness in treating acne patients, as its effectiveness is already without question. Studies were conducted to explore different methods of Isotretinoin application in patients, to determine the optimal dosage for prescription, and to determine the side effects of the drug use. One example of such studies is the one conducted by Hermes et. al in 1998, “Medium dose isotretinoin for the treatment of acne”, which deliberated the effects of Isotretinoin treatment in varying doses [7]. This study involved 94 patients with acne cases classified as moderate to severe acne were treated with a mean 31.4 mg of Isotretinoin (daily dose) and for a little more than 8 months [7]. Overall, the response of the patients to treatment is very good in 62.8% of the patient population, while 31.9% was classified under the good response to Isotretinoin. Out of all patients tested, only one exhibited treatment failure. Of these 94 patients, acne scars were present too, and it was observed that in 67.9% of the participants, the scars were notably improved too [7]. Relapse was only minimal, as after 7 months, 21.3% only required another round of treatment [7]. It was concluded that modified treatment regimens in patients with acne and acne scars are generally effective. There is a recommendation by the authors for further studies on the topic [7].

There are also studies which explored the effects of Isotretinoin in the unseen aspects of human physiology. Since product is known to influence hormone production which is key to its teratogenicity, one study, “Evaluation of ovarian reserve and function in female patients treated with oral isotretinoin for severe acne: an exploratory study” done by Öztürk et.al. in 2015 evaluated the effects of Isotretinoin on ovarian reserves and female hormone levels in female patients with severe acne [8]. 32 patients were studied, and all were given 0.5 mg to 2 mg of Isotretinoin per kg/day depending on their needs, but with a total of 120-135 mg/kg cumulative dose, and for 8 months [8]. The study evaluated FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and E2 (estradiol) hormone levels, plus AFC (antral follicle count) and OV (ovarian volume) pre and post administration of the medicine [8]. Results indicated that the FSH, LH, and E2 levels were decreased compared to the initial pre-treatment levels. Aside from the marked decrease of the hormones, OV and AFC also were decreased [8]. Although these results were discovered by the study, the decrease in the mentioned hormonal levels and ovarian reserve were not too significant and did not actually affect ovarian function in the participants [8].

Aside from exploratory studies on the effect of Isotretinoin in patients, studies on the effectiveness of Isotretinoin with adjunct treatments, like the study of Faghihi et.al. in 2014, “The efficacy of 5% dapsone gel plus oral isotretinoin versus oral isotretinoin alone in acne vulgaris: A randomized double-blind study”, which studied if Isotretinoin is effective with 5% dapsone gel or if it suits the patients better when used alone [9]. 58 participants were included in the study, and all the patients were treated with 20 mg of Isotretinoin daily for 8 weeks, although the patient population is divided into two groups and one group was treated with dapsone gel along with the Isotretinoin [9]. The results showed that those patients treated with dapsone gel exhibited significant remission of acne lesion number in the skin [9], although side effects were noted for the dapsone group. The side effects were minimal and manageable though [9].

Isotretinoin’s Description and Mechanism of Action

Isotretinoin is alternatively known as 12-cis-retinoic acid and is indicated for worst cases of acne, plus other skin conditions like skin carcinomas. Isotretinoin is classified as a retinoid, which relates it to Vitamin A, as they are similar in structure.

The drug brings about its acne-clearing effect by its promotion of sebaceous cell apoptosis, which leads to the narrowing and the inactivity of the oil producing glands. Since the sebaceous production is halted, the production of new lesions via the blockage of pores is prevented. This activity by Isotretinoin also accounts for the dryness which most of the patients treated with Isotretinoin complain about. As the skin is dried, there is the lesser possibility of pore blockage and proliferation of lesions in the skin.

Isotretinoin is also known for its suppressing activity on Propionibacterium acnes, which also helps in the healing of acne lesions in the skin, as the bacteria also account for the proliferation and the inflammation of acne lesions in patients. Aside from the mentioned activities, Isotretinoin also has an effect on lessening the localized inflammation on the lesions as it has a direct action on helper T and B cells and immunoglobulins which are involved in the patients’ immune response.

Contracne Effects for Acne/Scars

Isotretinoin is proven to be an effective treatment for acne, as studies conducted through the years can attest to its effectiveness. Patients undergoing Isotretinoin treatment can hope that their acne lesions will heal up as long as they will follow their dermatologists’ orders regarding their Isotretinoin intake.

Not only will the acne lesions heal, patients can also expect the acne scars to improve too [7], as it is also observed by the study conducted by the group of Hermes in 1998. Patients will notice improvements on sebaceous production, as their too oily skin will lessen its oil production due to the inhibiting effect of Isotretinoin on sebaceous cells.

As patients follow the prescribed treatment, they can expect a decrease in the lesions and a halt in the propagation of new lesions, and later on, they may be able to experience a complete clearing of their skin, as long as they stick with the recommended regimen and provided that they do not have any other medical conditions which could otherwise influence Isotretinoin’s effectiveness in treating their cases.

Recommended Doses and Duration of Therapy

Patients are prescribed by their dermatologists with 0.5 mg to 1 mg/kg/day of Isotretinoin, but the dose is actually variable and personalized, depending on the initial patient response to therapy. There is also variation in the duration of Isotretinoin treatment, but on the average, the treatment is prescribed for 6 months.

The dosage depends on the discretion of the dermatologists, so patients may be prescribed more or fewer amounts of Isotretinoin or they may be given topical treatment additions to help optimize Isotretinoin treatment in patients.

Side effects and Warnings

Dryness is one of the side effects commonly exhibited by patients treated with Isotretinoin [9], and this drying of the skin and the lips is reported by almost all of the patients treated with the drug. According to vendor and manufacturer information on Isotretinoin, headaches, nose bleeds, eye irritations, and cheilitis are some of the side effects of Isotretinoin commonly found in patients undergoing treatment [1].

Rare side effects, on the other hand, include blood/lymphatic circulation disorders like anemia and thrombocytopenia, anaphylactic reactions, psychiatric and behavioral disorders, benign intracranial hypertension, seizures, visual disturbances, and more others. Isotretinoin is also notorious for being teratogenic, so under no circumstance should a patient planning to bear children (or pregnant) take Isotretinoin for acne.

Drug Interactions

Since Isotretinoin is a stereoisomer of Vitamin A, Vitamin A intake should be limited as it is known to interact with Isotretinoin. Cyclins are also prohibited to be taken by patients, as well as other antibiotics.

As a general rule, patients under Isotretinoin treatment should fully disclose their meds to their doctors, even the food supplements or herbal supplements they are taking, even if they really do not have therapeutic claims. Although harmless, supplements have the capacity to interact harmfully with systemic medications like Isotretinoin.

Contracne Ge should be taken with caution and should also not be taken with other oral acne medications.

If patients are planning to use topical treatments, they should only do so with permission or advice from their dermatologists, as additional treatments can do more harm than good, if done under sole patient discretion.

Customer Reviews

Though Isotretinoin is commonly used by patients worldwide, there are no specific reviews found for Contracne Ge by Bailleul Laboratoires. This may be so because of the fact that the drug is for exclusive use by the French. Having no reviews for a certain product may indicate that a product isn’t well-marketed or unpopular, and it may indicate that the drug might be discontinued, although that is a case-to-case basis.

We can only speculate about the status of the drug, but that does not mean that Contracne Ge isn’t an effective treatment for acne. It just happens that Contracne Ge is without review. The drug may still be effective, as it was manufactured by a company which has more than 60 years in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Since it has Isotretinoin, the treatment may actually be potent too, as Isotretinoin is very potent in reducing and eliminating even the most severe forms of acne in patients.

Price, Available Forms and Dosage

Although Contracne Ge is searchable on the Internet, there is actually no online store selling the product and shipping it to international customers. In cases like these Contracne’s, the product may still be unapproved for international sale, or it was just meant for domestic consumption.

Contracne Cost

Contracne Cost

The price found for Contracne Ge is $0.63 per pill; however, as mentioned earlier, the product is not eligible for international sale or shipping. The price for the product is for informational purposes only, as there isn’t a single store on the internet selling the product.

This is unfortunate for international clients like those from the USA, Australia, and Canada, as shipping even to those countries is currently unavailable. But patients should not worry, though, as Isotretinoin products are generally available in all countries, and they just vary by manufacturer. There are always Contracne Ge counterparts available in every country, since acne is a very common condition, and local doctors always have Isotretinoin treatments available for severe acne patients.

Reference List

  1. Doctissimo.fr: Drug Guide. Available from: http://www.doctissimo.fr/medicament-CONTRACNE-GE.htm
  2. Ergun T, Seckin D, Ozaydin N, Bakar Ö, Comert A, Atsu N, Demircay Z, Yoney H, Zaimoglu S. Isotretinoin has no negative effect on attention, executive function and mood. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 2012 Apr 1;26(4):431-9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21545542
  3. Bailleul.com: Laboratoires Bailleul. Available from: http://www.bailleul.com/en/les_laboratoires_bailleul
  4. Bailleul.com: Our commitments for life. Available from: http://www.bailleul.com/en/les_laboratoires_bailleul/our_commitments
  5. Bailleul.com: Biorga Dermatologie. Available from: http://www.bailleul.com/en/our_brands/biorga_dermatologie
  6. Bailleul.com: Therica Médication Familiale. Available from: http://www.bailleul.com/en/our_brands/therica_medication_familiale
  7. Hermes B, Praetel C, Henz BM. Medium dose isotretinoin for the treatment of acne. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 1998 Sep 1;11(2):117-21. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9784036
  8. Öztürk S, Öztürk T, Ucak H, Erden I, Demir B, Kayalı A, Cicek D. Evaluation of ovarian reserve and function in female patients treated with oral isotretinoin for severe acne: an exploratory study. Cutaneous and ocular toxicology. 2015 Jan 2;34(1):21-4. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24678743
  9. Faghihi G, Rakhshanpour M, Abtahi-Naeini B, Nilforoushzadeh MA. The efficacy of 5% dapsone gel plus oral isotretinoin versus oral isotretinoin alone in acne vulgaris: A randomized double-blind study. Advanced biomedical research. 2014;3. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25250291

Editor's Rating

Overall Score
Although there is no information regarding user outcomes for Contracne Ge, I still think that the exclusively French medication is also as effective as any other Isotretinoin medication. No client feedback for the product is available since Contraacne Ge is not sold anywhere online. Since it contains Isotretinoin, there should be no question in the effectiveness of Contracne Ge in the management of moderate to severe acne cases. A lot of studies have already proven that Isotretinoin is effective in the cure of acne in patients, so I think that Contracne Ge is also at par with the famous brands with Isotretinoin content. As for the rating, I am giving Contracne Ge 3 out of 5 despite its lack of feedback from users online. The company which manufactured the product, Bailleul Laboratoires specializes in the manufacture of skincare products, so its anti-acne medication should be effective, as it has been in the pharmaceutical industry for 6 decades. It would have been better, though, if the product had reviews from users who were able to try out Contracne Ge, but since it is not sold online, there is really a slim chance in finding reviews for the product.
RXLEAKS Review - 3 out of 5 stars by

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