Deep, painful, embarrassing acne got your head down? Attempting to use your hair to cover it up?
When all else fails, there is a prescriptive medication that can help. But it isn’t brought to you without some hefty potential side effects.
Isotretinoin, brand name Accutane, is used to treat severe acne that hasn’t cleared up with other treatments, such as oral and topical antibiotics or topical retinoids. Isotretinoin is a retinoid, which is derived from vitamin A.
Accutane slows the production of certain natural materials that cause acne’s formation. Primarily used to combat cystic, nodular and nodulocystic forms of acne.
Nodulocystic acne describes the acne situation of cystic and nodular occurring simultaneously. This double whammy happens to numerous acne sufferers.
Any one of these severe and disfiguring types of acne may take a while to treat, coupled with disheartening failures. However, a dermatologist can start you down a path towards isotretinoin treatment, which is ofttimes successful.
Accutane requires a prescription and close health care professional monitoring due to some of its side effects. Isotretinoin is drug that is taken by mouth precisely as directed. And in concert with your body’s response, dosage may be periodically adjusted.
Initially your cystic, nodular or nodulocystic acne may seem to get worse. And it may several weeks before you notice any improvement. So stay on course with your treatment.
That’s about the good news of Accutane. Read on to discover about its potential downside.
Isotretinoin may cause changes in your thoughts, behavior or mental health. Some on isotretinoin have:
- become violent
- developed depression or psychosis
- thought about, tried or succeeded in killing or hurting themselves
Notify your acne treating physician immediately if you, or you notice someone taking Accutane, experience any of these symptoms:
- anger bursts
- crying spells
- lack of energy
- loss of interest
- loss of appetite
- weight gain or loss
- aggressive behavior
- concentration issues
- poor school performance
- acts on dangerous thoughts
- withdrawal from family, friends
- mentions killing or hurting self
- worthlessness or guilty feelings
Isotretinoin is a potent treatment to fight your cystic and nodular acne. Yet, some lifestyle adjustments might need to be taken while on it or afterwards, like:
- avoid wearing contact lenses if eyes feel dry & uncomfortable
- refrain from nighttime driving or activities requiring night vision if impaired
- limit your time or wear sunscreen and protective clothing in the sun because skin becomes sensitive to sunlight
- dodge risk of bone breaking physical activities because treatment may cause abnormal bone weakening or thickening
- no hair removal, waxing or laser skin treatments during nor 6 months after treatment conclusion due to increased risk of scarring
- DO NOT take isotretinoin if you are pregnant, at risk of becoming pregnant or breastfeeding on the grounds that it has a high risk of birth defects, even with small amount for short period
Isotretinoin can cause some weighty side effects. Contact your acne treating doctor right away if you experience any of these health effects:
- chest pain
- nail changes
- unusual thirst
- voice changes
- rectal bleeding
- abdominal pain
- vision problems
- breathing trouble
- frequent urination
- dark colored urine
- nausea & vomiting
- skin color changes
- difficulty swallowing
- slow, difficult speech
- red, cracked, sore lips
- bleeding, swollen gums
- fast, pounding heartbeat
- slow healing cuts, sores
- hearing problem, tinnitus
- common cold symptoms
- dry skin, eyes, mouth, nose
- red patches, bruises on legs
- muscle weakness, numbness
- back, bone, joint, muscle pain
- palm & soles of feet skin peeling
- eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat swelling
- arms, hands, feet, ankles, lower leg edema
Also, let your acne health specialist know about any other health conditions you have, or have a family history of, particularly:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- diabetes mellitus
- high triglycerides
- too much vitamin A in body
- alcoholism, excess use of alcohol
- mental disorders ~ depression, psychosis
Isotretinoin has been used to treat certain other skin conditions and some forms of cancer. And treatment is available for your nodulocystic scarring, if that is your case.
Health wise you need to know all about Accutane before you start taking it.
“For those who have been affected by Accutane, DrugWatch.com provides information about the Accutane class
movement and other resources for those who are struggling with Accutane’s debilitating side effects.”