Okay, I've recently had the difference between Accutane and Soriatane clarified. This is my current understanding, compliments of a trusted source (so take it for whatever you think it's worth):
Soriatane is very close to etretinate (Tegison). Organic chemistry is *not* a strong point of mine [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/wink.gif
[/img] but what I understood was that if you lopped off just a small part of a Soriatane molecule, you'd have etretinate. That's why the liver (especially in the presence of alcohol) can convert Soriatane into etretinate. Etretinate has a long half life. Hence the advice to wait at least 2 years before conceiving a child.
Soriatane has not been proven to be any safer than Accutane. Pretty much the same side effects, with same rate of occurence (in fact, maybe more).
Most women of child-bearing ages will be directed to Accutane. Accutane has a half life of about 18 hours. Shorter half life, same or lesser side effects = more attractive for women (and maybe men too).
Also, because they are quite different chemically, people respond differently to Accutane and Soriatane. Many do not get the same results (esp. in improving ichthyosis) in one vs. the other.
That's my nickel version of how the two are different. Hope that helped somebody (other than me [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/wink.gif
[This message has been edited by Laura Phillips (edited July 22, 2001).]