CLARAVIS — isotretinoin capsule
Physicians Total Care, Inc.

Rx only


Claravis™ must not be used by female patients who are or may become pregnant. There is an extremely high risk that severe birth defects will result if pregnancy occurs while taking Claravis in any amount, even for short periods of time. Potentially any fetus exposed during pregnancy can be affected. There are no accurate means of determining whether an exposed fetus has been affected.

Birth defects which have been documented following isotretinoin exposure include abnormalities of the face, eyes, ears, skull, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and thymus and parathyroid glands. Cases of IQ scores less than 85 with or without other abnormalities have been reported. There is an increased risk of spontaneous abortion, and premature births have been reported.

Documented external abnormalities include: skull abnormality; ear abnormalities (including anotia, micropinna, small or absent external auditory canals); eye abnormalities (including microphthalmia); facial dysmorphia; cleft palate. Documented internal abnormalities include: CNS abnormalities (including cerebral abnormalities, cerebellar malformation, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, cranial nerve deficit); cardiovascular abnormalities; thymus gland abnormality; parathyroid hormone deficiency. In some cases death has occurred with certain of the abnormalities previously noted.

If pregnancy does occur during treatment of a female patient who is taking Claravis, Claravis must be discontinued immediately and she should be referred to an Obstetrician-Gynecologist experienced in reproductive toxicity for further evaluation and counseling.

Special Prescribing Requirements

Because of isotretinoin’s teratogenicity and to minimize fetal exposure, Claravis is approved for marketing only under a special restricted distribution program approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This program is called iPLEDGE. Claravis must only be prescribed by prescribers who are registered and activated with the iPLEDGE program. Claravis must only be dispensed by a pharmacy registered and activated with iPLEDGE, and must only be dispensed to patients who are registered and meet all the requirements of iPLEDGE (see PRECAUTIONS).

Table 1. Monthly Required iPLEDGE Interactions
Female Patients of Childbearing Potential Male Patients, And Female Patients Not of Childbearing Potential
Confirms patient counseling X X
Enters the two contraception methods chosen by the patient X
Enters pregnancy test results X
Answers educational questions before every prescription X
Enters two forms of contraception X
Contacts system to get an authorization X X


Isotretinoin, USP, a retinoid, is available as Claravis™ (isotretinoin capsules USP) in 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg and 40 mg hard gelatin capsules for oral administration. Chemically, isotretinoin is 13-cis -retinoic acid and is related to both retinoic acid and retinol (vitamin A). It is a yellow to orange crystalline powder. The structural formula is:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

C20 H28 O2 Molecular Weight: 300.44

Each capsule contains the following inactive ingredients: butylated hydroxyanisole, edetate disodium, gelatin, hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 80, soybean oil, titanium dioxide, white wax (beeswax), and vitamin E.

In addition, the 10 mg capsule contains black iron oxide and FD&C yellow no. 6. The 20 mg capsule contains black iron oxide, red iron oxide and yellow iron oxide. The 30 mg capsule contains red iron oxide and yellow iron oxide. The 40 mg capsule contains colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C yellow no. 6, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

The edible imprinting ink contains: 10 mg strength, D&C red no. 7 calcium lake, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether, FD&C yellow no. 6 aluminum lake, shellac glaze and titanium dioxide; 20 mg strength, ammonium hydroxide, propylene glycol, shellac glaze, simethicone and titanium dioxide; the 30 mg strength, D&C yellow no. 10 aluminum lake, FD&C blue no.1 aluminum lake, FD&C blue no. 2 aluminum lake, FD&C red no. 40 aluminum lake, iron oxide black, propylene glycol, and shellac glaze; 40 mg strength, ammonium hydroxide, FD&C blue no. 2 aluminum lake, iron oxide black, propylene glycol, and shellac glaze.

Meets dissolution test 2.


Isotretinoin is a retinoid, which when administered in pharmacologic dosages of 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/day (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION), inhibits sebaceous gland function and keratinization. The exact mechanism of action of isotretinoin is unknown.

Nodular Acne

Clinical improvement in nodular acne patients occurs in association with a reduction in sebum secretion. The decrease in sebum secretion is temporary and is related to the dose and duration of treatment with Claravis, and reflects a reduction in sebaceous gland size and an inhibition of sebaceous gland differentiation.1



Due to its high lipophilicity, oral absorption of isotretinoin is enhanced when given with a high-fat meal. In a crossover study, 74 healthy adult subjects received a single 80 mg oral dose (2 x 40 mg capsules) of Claravis under fasted and fed conditions. Both peak plasma concentration (Cmax ) and the total exposure (AUC) of isotretinoin were more than doubled following a standardized high-fat meal when compared with Claravis given under fasted conditions (see Table 2 ). The observed elimination half-life was unchanged. This lack of change in half-life suggests that food increases the bioavailability of isotretinoin without altering its disposition. The time to peak concentration (Tmax ) was also increased with food and may be related to a longer absorption phase. Therefore, Claravis capsules should always be taken with food (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Clinical studies have shown that there is no difference in the pharmacokinetics of isotretinoin between patients with nodular acne and healthy subjects with normal skin.

Table 2. Pharmacokinetic Parameters of Isotretinoin Mean (%CV), N = 74
Claravis 2 x 40 mg Capsules


(ng hr/mL)





t ½

Fed 10,004 (22%) 862 (22%) 5.3 (77%) 21 (39%)
Fasted 3,703 (46%) 301 (63%) 3.2 (56%) 21 (30%)

All resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved.