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Can Soolantra be used for acne?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on June 18, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Soolantra (ivermectin 1%) cream is used to treat a certain type of adult acne called rosacea. It is approved to be used on the face only, and is applied once a day.

Soolantra (ivermectin 1%) is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of acne vulgaris (often just called acne). A small case study reported limited positive results with ivermectin topical 1% in 4 patients with mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.

  • Ivermectin was applied once-a-day for 1 to 3 months depending on the clinical response.
  • After 8 to 10 weeks of treatment, 3 patients reported results of "excellent" or "very good", and one patient had result of "good".
  • Patients with acne vulgaris required 8 weeks (in 1 patient) and 10 weeks (in 3 patients) of treatment to obtain an Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) score of 1 (almost clear).
  • Larger, prospective studies are needed to confirm the results from this study. Do not use ivermectin for the treatment of acne vulgaris unless prescribed by your doctor for this use.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin disorder that leads to redness, swelling of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids. Visible blood vessels may appear on the face. It may also cause skin eruptions similar to acne that are small, red and pus-filled bumps.

It may flare up for weeks or months and then clear up temporarily. It’s most common in middle-aged women with light skin color but can occur in anyone.

Learn more: Photos of rosacea

Soolantra is a cream that contains ivermectin, a macrocyclic lactone. Ivermectin is reported to have anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties, but exactly how it works to treat rosacea is not known.

In clinical studies, many patients saw a reduction in their rosacea symptoms as early as two weeks. After one year, 71% of patients were reported as being clear or almost clear of their symptoms.

The most common side effects with Soolantra (<1% incidence) include a skin burning sensation and skin irritation.

Do I have acne or rosacea?

Check with your doctor to determine if you have rosacea or acne. They can have many similarities and differences, but are treated differently.

Rosacea

  • red pimples without blackheads
  • eye problems, like bloodshot eyes, swollen eyelids, vision problem
  • facial redness near the center of the face and on the cheeks, nose, eyes and forehead
  • visible broken blood vessels in face
  • symptoms may come and go

Rosacea can also be triggered by factors like sunlight, heat or cold, stress, alcohol, hot beverages, and spicy foods. It tends to occur in women after the age of 30, but anyone can get it. It affects the central part of the face, including the forehead, nose, chin and cheeks.

Acne

  • pimples contain blackheads, whiteheads and may be deep, painful cysts
  • redness is found around breakout area only
  • there is an oily T-zone on the forehead, nose and chin
  • skin texture can be uneven due to scars and acne

Acne often occurs due to hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, and menopause. It occurs most frequently in teens and young adults and can occur not only on the face, but on the back, shoulders, and chest area.

How do I use Soolantra for rosacea?

  • Use Soolantra exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Apply Soolantra to the affected areas of your face once daily. Use a pea-size amount for each area of the face (forehead, chin, nose, each cheek) that is affected.
  • Spread as a thin layer, avoiding the eyes and lips.

Soolantra (ivermectin cream) is not for use in the mouth, eyes, or vagina.

How much does Soolantra cost?

If you are paying cash, Soolantra costs around $428 for a one ounce (30 gram) tube of cream. These prices are based on the Drugs.com discount card which is accepted at most U.S. pharmacies.

Soolantra is also available as a generic called ivermectin and costs can vary widely from $150 to $500 depending upon the pharmacy you visit and the discount coupon you use. If you are paying cash for Soolantra or the generic (without insurance) ask your pharmacist the best way to save on your prescription.

Costs will also vary based on your insurance plan if you are using insurance to pay for your prescription. Check with your insurance company to determine your cost for treatment.

Soolantra is made by Galderma. The generic version, ivermectin 1% cream, is available from Teva Pharmaceuticals. Soolantra was approved by the FDA in 2014.

This is not all the information you need to know about Soolantra (ivermectin 1% cream) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Soolantra information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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