What is Accutane

Accutane is a brand name for the medication isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a naturally occurring form of Vitamin A, and it is a powerful anti-acne medication. Accutane has been around since it was FDA approved in 1982.

Accutane is used for patients with moderate to severe acne that has not responded well to antibiotics and other treatments. Patients usually take oral Accutane for 4 to 6 months under the close supervision of their dermatologist. Some people with more severe acne may need to repeat the 4-6 month course of medicine.

Most people in dermatology consider isotretinoin to be the best medicine we currently have to improve and eliminate acne. It is effective against virtually every form of acne, and after treatment around 50% of patients will never be troubled by acne again for the rest of their lives. Around 90% will have dramatic improvement in their acne. 

Needless to say, after years of use on millions of patients, Accutane has proven itself to be a hard-hitter in the battle against acne. It sounds perfect, but it’s important to be aware that it is an intense medicine and side effects are common.

Side Effects

  1. DRYNESS
  1. SUN SENSITIVITY
  1. WORSENING ACNE
  1. MUSCLE AND JOINT PAIN
  1. HAIR LOSS
  1. LIVER EFFECTS
  1. BIRTH DEFECTS

If you have acne that resists every treatment you’ve thrown at it so far, perhaps it’s worth discussing the Accutane option with your doctor. It might be the best choice for you.

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