What is Accutane?


Accutane also known as Isotretinoin is an oral medication belonging to the group of retinoids. This means that it reduces the number of oil produced by the skin, changing its characteristics and preventing excessive hardening of the skin.

It is prescribed for severe acne treatment in patients who have had low results with other milder medications (antibiotics). Structurally Accutane is a chemical cousin of vitamin A – it is a natural derivative from vitamin A and it is present in the bloodstream of every person.

Accutane is a very powerful drug and can cure even severe and scarring acne that has lasted for years and did not respond to antibiotic creams and drugs.

And even though it has many side effects it is in a way safer than antibiotics, as Accutane cures acne completely in five months maximum and so does not require permanent usage. Accutane may also be used for other dermatological diseases treatment as determined by your doctor.

As Accutane may cause severe birth problems including physical deformity and mental deficiency, it is strictly forbidden for use in pregnant, breastfeeding women or women planning to become pregnant.

Before using Accutane women will have to sign a consent form on the birth risks and have at least two negative pregnancy tests. Moreover in the course of treatment women will have to use two forms of birth control and to pass pregnancy tests every month to exclude completely the possibility of pregnancy during Accutane usage.

Before using Accutane check with your doctor if you take any drugs that may have bad interactions with it. Avoid taking Accutane if you have diabetes, bone, blood, gastroenteric and psychiatric disorders.

Accutane is taken two times daily with a meal. Do not chew or struck the pill. Swallow it whole. Take Accutane with a full glass of water or any other non-alcoholic drink. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. When you finish taking Accutane there should be at least a two month recreation period in the course of which you will not use this drug.

Your acne may persist to get better notwithstanding the fact that you do not take the medication any longer. After this 2 month period if your acne is still severe you may need to resume the course of treatment with Accutane.

Follow your dosage schedule, do not miss doses and do not take double to make up the missed one, better skip it and then go back to your regular regime.

Overdose with Accutane may cause

  • dry or cracked lips,
  • abdominal pain,
  • dizziness/incoordination/clumsiness,
  • facial flushing,
  • vomiting
  • and headache.

If you have any of these seek emergency medical aid.

Possible side effects of Accutane include

  • abnormal hair growth/loss,
  • bleeding gums,
  • bowel inflammation/pain,
  • blood in urine,
  • changes in blood sugar/cholesterol levels,
  • bruising,
  • changes in skin pigmentation,
  • changes in vision,
  • chest pain,
  • reduced tolerance to contact lenses,
  • depression,
  • delay in wound healing,
  • sleeping problems,
  • dizziness/drowsiness,
  • fragile or dry skin,
  • dry lips/mouth/nose,
  • heartbeat irregularities,
  • fatigue,
  • herpes,
  • menstrual changes,
  • joint pain,
  • itching,
  • liver disorders,
  • nail disorders,
  • muscle wasting,
  • nausea,
  • nosebleeds,
  • nervousness,
  • peeling palms or soles,
  • rash,
  • pinkeye,
  • skin infections,
  • stroke,
  • stomach and intestinal discomfort,
  • drops in blood pressure,
  • unconsciousness,
  • sunburn-sensitive skin,
  • sweating,
  • suppression of growth,
  • swelling,
  • tendon/ligament problems,
  • vomiting,
  • urinary discomfort,
  • weight loss
  • and weakness.

If severer side effects occur stop using Accutane.

What is the shelf life of the pills?

The expiry date is mentioned on each blister. It is different for different batches. The shelf life is 2 years from the date of manufacture and would differ from batch to batch depending on when they were manufactured.