United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard

Isotretinoin, 13-cis-Retinoic acid
Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:


pharmaceutical primary standard






172-175 °C (lit.)

Featured Industry

Pharmaceutical (small molecule)



SMILES string




InChI key


Gene Information

Looking for similar products? Visit Product Comparison Guide

General description

This product is provided as delivered and specified by the issuing Pharmacopoeia. All information provided in support of this product, including SDS and any product information leaflets have been developed and issued under the Authority of the issuing Pharmacopoeia.For further information and support please go to the website of the issuing Pharmacopoeia.

Biochem/physiol Actions

13-cis-Retinoic acid (RA) has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor action. The action of RA is mediated through RAR-β and RAR-α receptors. RA attenuates iNOS expression and activity in cytokine-stimulated murine mesangial cells. It induces mitochondrial membrane permeability transition, observed as swelling and as a decrease in membrane potential, and stimulates the release of cytochrome c implicating mechanisms through the apoptosis pathway. These activities are reversed by EGTA and cyclosporin A. RA also increases MMP-1 protein expression partially via increased transcription.

Analysis Note

These products are for test and assay use only. They are not meant for administration to humans or animals and cannot be used to diagnose, treat, or cure diseases of any kind.  ​

Other Notes

USP issued SDS can be found here.
Sales restrictions may apply.


Exclamation markHealth hazard

Signal Word


Hazard Statements

Target Organs

Respiratory system


NONH for all modes of transport

WGK Germany


Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Certificate of Analysis

Certificate of Origin

Stephen E Wolverton et al.
American journal of clinical dermatology, 14(2), 71-76 (2013-04-06)
Isotretinoin is a remarkably effective drug for severe, recalcitrant acne vulgaris. Soon after the drug's release in the early 1980s, a number of important adverse effects were reported subsequently leading to a variety of medical and medicolegal controversies. Three of...
Jane L Armstrong et al.
Biochemical pharmacology, 69(9), 1299-1306 (2005-04-14)
Retinoic acid isomers have been used with some success as chemotherapeutic agents, most recently with 13-cis retinoic acid showing impressive clinical efficacy in the paediatric malignancy neuroblastoma. The aim of this commentary is to review the evidence that 13-cis retinoic...
Elie B Lowenstein et al.
Clinics in dermatology, 29(6), 652-661 (2011-10-22)
Isotretinoin has revolutionized the field of dermatology, offering a cure for severe acne vulgaris and a therapeutic option for a variety of other chronic diseases and cancers. This drug has done more for many diseases in medicine than many drug...
James Q Del Rosso
Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 12(6), 626-631 (2013-07-11)
Oral isotretinoin is a non-aromatic oral retinoid that is highly effective for the treatment of severe inflammatory acne vulgaris that is refractory and/or prone to scarring, and has also been used successfully to treat several other disorders in selected cases....
Dimitris Rigopoulos et al.
Clinics in dermatology, 28(1), 24-30 (2010-01-20)
Acne is one of the most prevalent diseases in dermatology: Millions of people worldwide experience this distressing condition. To determine the appropriate therapeutic strategy, there is a strong need for a standardized classification system of acne. The exact molecular mechanism...

Our team of scientists has experience in all areas of research including Life Science, Material Science, Chemical Synthesis, Chromatography, Analytical and many others.

Contact Technical Service

Social Media

LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
Facebook Icon
Instagram Icon


Research. Development. Production.

We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.

© 2021 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any materials from the site is strictly forbidden without permission.