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‘Is Accutane Safe?’ and Other Accutane Questions Answered

‘Is Accutane Safe?’ and Other Accutane Questions Answered

Medically reviewed by: John Minni, DO

Clearing serious pimples can be a problem. When other pimples treatments never boost deep cysts and nodules, dermatologists generally endorse isotretinoin, better recognized as Accutane. A potent medicine, it has been in use for many years. Yet the prospect of having Accutane for zits routinely raises queries, the principal a person remaining, “Is Accutane safe?”

Even while Accutane can direct to amazing complexion transformations even in the worst cases of acne breakouts, Accutane aspect results, and myths about Accutane facet results, have provided the drug a negative popularity. As a end result, some men and women with serious zits hesitate to try it, inspite of its possible positive aspects. 

“In a lot of conditions, Accutane is the only remedy that will obvious intense cystic pimples and minimize the possibility of everlasting scars that can consequence,” explained John Minni, DO, a board-licensed dermatologist at Water’s Edge Dermatology. “This medication performs incredibly properly.”

Below are answers to the most popular concerns dermatologists get about Accutane from pimples sufferers or their parents.

What is Accutane?

Accutane was a brand name title of isotretinoin, an oral medication applied to handle acne and other pores and skin ailments these types of as rosacea. The brand was discontinued, but isotretinoin is still normally referred to as Accutane. The medicine is normally reserved for people today with significant zits — deep, distressing cysts and tricky lumps identified as nodules — that hasn’t enhanced with other treatment options. Dermatologists may well also prescribe it for cases of procedure-resistant reasonable pimples.

Like other zits treatment plans these kinds of as Retin-A (tretinoin) and Tazorac (tazarotene), Accutane is a retinoid, a compound derived from vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for wholesome skin progress. Some research implies that deficiency of vitamin A might weaken the skin’s immune operate, making it extra vulnerable to infections and inflammatory pores and skin conditions these kinds of as specified forms of pimples.

How does Accutane perform?

Accutane fights acne breakouts in 4 ways. 

  1. It shrinks the oil glands, tremendously minimizing the sum of oil they generate.
  2. It makes useless pores and skin cells considerably less sticky, blocking them from clogging pores when they’re sloughed off throughout skin’s natural cycle of renewal and shedding. 
  3. It curbs the growth of microbes that result in breakouts.
  4. It cuts down swelling, which performs a part in inflammatory kinds of zits, like cystic zits.

Is Accutane safe and sound?

When used the right way and with mindful monitoring by a skin doctor, Accutane is regarded as a risk-free therapy for pimples. Like any drug, it can induce side consequences.

“It’s crucial to understand the prospective facet outcomes and weigh the challenges from the gains,” mentioned Dr. Minni. “Have this dialogue with your dermatologist so you know what to expect.” 

Accutane really should not be taken by expecting women of all ages for the reason that it can lead to intense delivery defects. 

What are Accutane aspect consequences?

The most common facet consequences are sun sensitivity and dryness — dry pores and skin, dry nostrils, dry mouth and dry eyes, but above all, dry lips. Significantly less common results include things like pores and skin itching or discomfort and momentary hair thinning. Some folks, generally children, build back and joint soreness while taking Accutane, but the suffering goes away as soon as treatment method ends.

Accutane can cause much more really serious consequences, such as enhanced force on the mind and liver injury. These side outcomes are uncommon and can be detected early in the course of schedule checking and blood checks. Your skin doctor will also test for greater levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, which is another unusual facet result. The most up-to-date exploration demonstrates no association among Accutane use and an amplified risk of inflammatory bowel disease. 

Clients undergo a psychological health and fitness screening right before using the treatment since there have been studies of folks on Accutane experiencing melancholy, suicidal views and psychosis. A backlink in between these circumstances and Accutane has not been properly set up, nonetheless.

How extensive does Accutane get to function?

Most folks start to see enhancement within just two to 3 months of procedure, which normally lasts four to 5 months. In the 1st month or two, Accutane can make acne worse. If it does, convey to your skin doctor. He or she might lower the setting up dose and may prescribe oral prednisone to tame the acne breakouts until finally the flare subsides.

Is Accutane a permanent overcome for acne breakouts?

In most situations, Accutane cures zits forever. A little proportion of clients working experience a relapse a few months or a couple of decades just after therapy and require an extra program of isotretinoin or one more kind of treatment method.

Can I get pregnant when on Accutane?

Gals who acquire Accutane should really not get expecting. In reality, girls of childbearing age who approach to get Accutane should sign-up with the Food stuff and Drug Administration’s iPLEDGE Hazard Analysis and Mitigation Approach (REMS) system, which was established to avoid miscarriage, premature start and birth defects ensuing from Accutane use.

As component of the plan, you need to have two negative being pregnant tests just before you start getting the drug, and you are going to will need to take regular monthly pregnancy checks for the duration of remedy and a last examination a thirty day period just after your past dose. You are also expected to use two forms of delivery control for at minimum a single month prior to commencing Accutane, for the duration of the therapy, and for 1 month soon after cure finishes.

Can you drink on Accutane?

It is ideal to limit or keep away from alcoholic beverages though you’re using Accutane. Ingesting when on the treatment could strain your liver. In addition, significant drinking and Accutane can each increase ranges of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.


Make an appointment with just one of our providers now to explore the most effective method to clearing your acne.


Prepared by: Jessica Brown, a wellbeing and science writer/editor centered in Nanuet, New York. She has prepared for Prevention journal, jnj.com, BCRF.org, and quite a few other retailers.