Dermatologic Manifestations of Oral Leukoplakia Medication

Updated: Mar 10, 2022
  • Author: James J Sciubba, DMD, PhD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Retinoids are currently being investigated as a possible treatment modality. They appear to be very effective but can have severe adverse effects on liver function and may cause teratogenicity. Their beneficial effect appears to last only during the treatment. A review of the use of topical immunomodulating agents (isotretinoin gel, 0.1%) in modulating or controlling dysplasia has shown not proven such agents to be uniformly effective. [40]


Retinoid-like Agents

Class Summary

These agents decrease the cohesiveness of abnormal hyperproliferative keratinocytes and may reduce the potential for malignant degeneration. They modulate keratinocyte differentiation. They have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer formation in patients who have undergone renal transplantation.

Isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret)

Isotretinoin is an oral agent that treats serious dermatologic conditions. It is a synthetic 13-cis isomer of the naturally occurring tretinoin (trans- retinoic acid). Both agents are structurally related to vitamin A. In acne, its activity includes reduction in sebaceous gland activity, modification of keratinocytic adhesion, and anti-inflammatory actions.

If used to treat acne, at least 8 weeks should be allowed between courses of treatment if re-treatment is indicated (because of possible continued improvement).

The prescriber and patient must enroll in FDA-sponsored iPledge system to receive this medication. It is difficult to prescribe for off-label use (nonacne), especially because the iPledge system does not allow use beyond a 5- to 6-month period.