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Combination of
Erythromycin Macrolide antibiotic
Isotretinoin Retinoid
Clinical data
Trade names Isotrexin
AHFS/ UK Drug Information
Routes of
Topical gel
ATC code

Erythromycin/isotretinoin (trade name Isotrexin) is a topical gel with two active ingredients: erythromycin 2% w/w and isotretinoin 0.05% w/w with a primary indication for the treatment of moderate acne vulgaris.[1][2]

Isotretinoin is a pharmaceutical derivative of retinoic acid (a metabolite of vitamin A). Its mechanism of action is believed to involve reduction in the amount of sebum produced by sebaceous glands on the skin's surface.

Erythromycin is a bacteriostatic macrolide antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, including the inhibition of bacteria linked with acne, such Propionibacterium acnes. The mechanism of action is poorly understood.

Side effects[edit]

Erythromycin/isotretinoin may cause a number of side effects, ranging from very common to rare. Most side effects affect the skin and have only a local effect to the place of application. Some of the side effects are related to vitamin A toxicity.[1]

Very common (≥ 1/10) Common (≥ 1/100, < 1/10) Unknown frequency
Skin pain Dermatitis Allergic reaction
Rash Facial swelling
Xeroderma (dry skin) Hives
Prunitis (skin itching) Abdominal pain
Skin burning sensation Diarrhea
Erythematous (skin redness) Skin photosensitivity
Skin irritation Skin discoloration
Skin peeling or scaling


  1. ^ a b "Isotrexin Gel (isotretinoin 0.05%/erythromycin 2%)" (PDF). Stiefel Laboratories Ltd. 
  2. ^ "Isotrexin gel (isotretinoin, erythromycin)". Netdoctor. 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2016-05-10.